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CSI 769/ASTR 769 Topics in Space Weather Fall 2005 Lecture 03 Sep. 13, 2005 Solar Eruptions: Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections Aschwanden, “Physics of.

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Presentation on theme: "CSI 769/ASTR 769 Topics in Space Weather Fall 2005 Lecture 03 Sep. 13, 2005 Solar Eruptions: Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections Aschwanden, “Physics of."— Presentation transcript:

1 CSI 769/ASTR 769 Topics in Space Weather Fall 2005 Lecture 03 Sep. 13, 2005 Solar Eruptions: Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections Aschwanden, “Physics of the Solar Corona” Chap. 16, P671-702, Flare Plasma Dynamics Chap. 17, P703-737, Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) Chap. 10, P407-463, Magnetic Reconnection


3 8010 + 17:17 17:40 18:03 G12 5 XRA 1-8A X17.0 2.6E00 0808

4 3-day Solar-Geophysical Forecast3-day Solar-Geophysical Forecast issued Sep 12 at 22:00 UTC Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be moderate to high

5 Magnetogram on Sep. 08 Sep. 12

6 What is a solar flare? A solar flare is a sudden brightening of a part of the chromosphere and/or corona, by traditional definition Flare shows enhanced emission in almost all wavelength, from long to short, including radio, optical, UV, soft X-rays, hard X- rays, and γ-rays Flare emissions are caused by thermal plasma heating, and non- thermal particle acceleration Heating and particle acceleration are believed to be caused by magnetic reconnection in the corona Flares release 10 27 - 10 32 ergs energy in a few to tens of minutes. (Note: one H-bomb: 10 million TNT = 5.0 X 10 23 ergs)

7 Flare: Example in optical Hα Heating: temperature increase in Chromosphere Structure: Hα ribbons

8 Flare: Example in EUV (~ 195 Å) TRACE Observation: 2000 July 14 flare Heating: temperature increase in corona Structure EUV ribbons Loop arcade Filament eruption

9 Flare: Example in soft X-rays (~ 10 Å) Heating: temperature increase in Corona Structure: fat X-ray loops

10 Flare: Example in hard X-ray (< 1 Å) RHESSI in hard X-rays (red contour, 20 Kev, or 0.6 Å) and (blue contour, 100 Kev, or 0.1 Å) Non-thermal emission: due to energetic electron through Bremsstrahlung (braking) emission mechanism

11 Flare: Example in radio (17 Ghz) Nobeyama Radioheliograph (17 Ghz, or 1.76 cm) and (34 Ghz, or 0.88 cm) Non-thermal emission due to non-thermal energetic electron and magnetic field emission mechanism: gyro-synchrotron emission

12 Flare Frequency At solar minimum: 1 event/per day At solar Maximum: 10 events/per day GOES X-ray flare: 11696 events From 1996 Jan. To 2001 Dec.

13 Flares: X-ray Classification ClassIntensity (erg cm -2 s -1 ) I (W m -2 ) B10 -4 10 -7 C10 -3 10 -6 M10 -2 10 -5 X10 -1 10 -4

14 Flare: Hα Classification Area (millionth of a solar hemisphere) Area (in square degree heliocentric) Size Important <100<2.06S (Sub-flare) 100---2502.06—5.151 250--6005.15---12.42 600---120012.4---24.73 >1200>24.74 Brightness Importance F: faint N: Normal B: Brilliant e.g., 3B means covering >12.4 deg 2 and exceptionally bright

15 Flare: Temporal Property A flare may have three phases: Preflare phase: e.g., 4 min from 13:50 UT – 13:56 UT Impulsive phase: e.g., 10 min from 13:56 UT – 14:06 UT Gradual phase: e.g., many hours after 14:06 UT

16 Flare: Temporal Property (Cont.) Pre-flare phase: flare trigger phase leading to the major energy release. It shows slow increase of soft X-ray flux Impulsive phase: the flare main energy release phase. It is most evident in hard X-ray, γ-ray emission and radio microwave emission. The soft X-ray flux rises rapidly during this phase Gradual phase: no further emission in hard X-ray, and the soft X-ray flux starts to decrease gradually. Loop arcade (or arch) starts to appear in this phase

17 Flare: Spectrum Property The emission spectrum during flare’s impulsive phase

18 Flare: Spectrum Property (cont.) A full flare spectrum may have three components: 1.Exponential distribution in Soft X-ray energy range (e.g., 1 keV to 10 keV): thermal Bremsstrahlung emission 2.Power-law distribution in hard X-ray energy range (e.g., 10 keV to 100 keV): non-thermal Bremstrahlung emission dF(E)/dE = AE –γ Photons cm -2 s -1 keV -1 Where γ is the power-law index 3.Power-law plus spectral line distribution in Gamma-ray energy range (e.g., 100 keV to 100 MeV) non-thermal Bremstrahlung emission Nuclear reaction

19 Bremsstrahlung Spectrum Bremsstrahlung emission (German word meaning "braking radiation") the radiation is produced as the electrons are deflected in the Coulomb field of the ions. Bremsstrahlung emission

20 Flare Energy Source Magnetic energy is slowly-built-up and stored in the corona, and then through a sudden release to produce flares, the so called storage-release model Flare is believed to be caused by magnetic reconnection in the corona Magnetic reconnection is a process that can rapidly release magnetic energy in the corona

21 Magnetic Reconnection MHD equations (Aschwanden 6.1.36, P. 247) Magnetic field diffusion time τ d in the corona τ d = 4πσL 2 /c 2 = L 2 /η τ d the time scale the magnetic field in size L dissipate away, σ electric conductivity, η magnetic diffusivity, L the magnetic field scale size In normal coronal condition, τ d ~ 10 14 s, or 1 million year (assuming L=10 9 cm, T=10 6 K, and σ =10 7 T 3/2 s -1 ) To reduce τ d, reduce L to an extremely thin layer

22 Magnetic Reconnection: 2-D (cont.) quick magnetic energy dissipates at the current sheet (a magnetic neutral sheet) that separates two magnetic regimes, which 1.have different directions (opposite directions 2.are forced to push together by a continuous converging motion Analytic solutions are obtained by Sweet-Parker model Petschek model (Aschwanden book, Chap. 10, p.408-412)

23 Magnetic Reconnection: 2D (cont.) Sweet-Parker reconnection Petschek reconnection (Aschwanden Book, Fig. 10.2, P411)

24 Magnetic Reconnection: 3-D (cont.) (Aschwanden Book, Fig. 10.10, P423)

25 Magnetic Reconnection: 3-D (cont.) Separatrix surface: 2D surface divides oppositely directed magnetic field in 3D volume Separator line: 1D intersection lines of two 2D-separatrix surface Nullpoint: nullpoint of the intersection of 1D separator lines Magnetic reconnection occurs in these locations where current is concentrated and magnetic field is zero

26 Flare Model: standard 2-D model Aschwanden book. Fig. 10.20, P437

27 Flare Model: standard 2-D model (cont.) The initial driver of the flare process is a rising flux rope or filament above the neutral line (pre- flare phase) At a critical point, the magnetic reconnection at the X-type region below the flux rope sets-in (major flare phase) Newly reconnected field lines beneath the reconnection points have an increasingly larger height and wider footpoint separation (post-flare phase)

28 Flare dynamic Model A cartoon model by Gurman Particle precipitation Thermal conduction Chromospheric Evaporation

29 Flare Dynamic Model (cont.) Loop structure of soft X-ray emission Compact hard X-ray sources appear at two foot-points of soft X-ray loop Hard X-ray sources appear at top of soft X-ray loops

30 Coronal Mass Ejection and Filament Eruption Both are large scale structural eruption in the corona CMEs are observed in the outer corona by coronagraphs (since 1970s) Filament Eruption are observed in Hα on the solar disk (since ~1900s) CME eruptions are often associated with filament eruption

31 Filament Eruption BBSO HαMt. Wilson Magnetogram

32 Filament Eruption (cont.) A filament always sits along the magnetic inversion line (magnetic neutral line) that separates regions of different magnetic polarity A filament is supported by coronal magnetic field in a supporting configuration Magnetic dip at the top of loop arcade (2-D) Magnetic flux rope (3-D) Helical or twisted magnetic structure is seen within filament

33 Filament Eruption (cont.) One of filament models: filament is supported by twisted magnetic flux rope

34 Filament Eruption (cont.)

35 Filament Eruption TRACE 195 Å, 1999/10/20 Filament eruption and loop arcade TRACE 195 Å, 2002/05/27 A failed filament eruption TRACE 195 Å, 1998/07/27 Filament dancing without eruption

36 Filament Eruption Model model of Martens & Kuin A unified model of Filament and Flare

37 CMEs A CME is a large scale coronal plasma (and magnetic field structure) structure ejected from the Sun, as seen by a coronagraph A CME propagates into interplanetary space. Some of them may engulf the earth orbit and cause a series of geo-space activities, such as geomagnetic storms. A CME disturbs the solar wind, drives shock in interplanetary space, and produce energetic particles at the shock front.

38 Coronagraph A telescope equipped with an occulting disk that blocks out light from the disk of the Sun, in order to observe faint light from the corona A coronagraph makes artificial solar eclipse The earliest CME observation was made in early 1970s

39 Coronagraph: LASCO C1: 1.1 – 3.0 Rs (E corona) (1996 to 1998 only) C2: 2.0 – 6.0 Rs (white light) (1996 up to date) C3: 4.0 – 30.0 Rs (white light) (1996 up to date) C1 C2 C3 LASCO uses a set of three overlapping coronagraphs to maximum the total effective field of view. A single coronagraph’s field of view is limited by the instrumental dynamic range.

40 Coronagraph (cont.) White light corona has three components: K (continuum) corona, caused by scattering of photospheric light of rapidly-moving coronal electrons (so called Thomson scattering); the major component of white-light corona F (Fraunhofer corona), caused by scattering of photospheric light off dust in interplanetary space between the orbits of Mercury and Earth E (Emission corona), caused by emission of radiation by highly-ionized species in the actual corona, so called forbidden emission lines, e.g., at 5302 Å from Fe XIV (coronal green line)

41 Coronagraph (cont.) K corona: continuum F corona: continuum plus absorption E corona: emission lines

42 Coronagraph (cont.) K corona brightness is less than 10 -5 that of disk Space observation is necessary Special instrumental design to reduce scattering of light in instrument

43 Streamer Several streamers in a typical coronagraph image

44 Streamer (cont.) A streamer is a stable large-scale structure in the white-light corona. It has an appearance of extending away from the Sun along the radial direction It is often associated with active regions and filaments/filament channels underneath. It overlies the magnetic inversion line in the solar photospheric magnetic fields. When a CME occurs underneath a streamer, the associated streamer will be blown away When a CME occurs nearby a streamer, the streamer may be disturbed, but not necessarily disrupted.

45 CME: transient phenomenon (example) A LASCO C2 movie, showing multiple CMEs

46 CME Property: Measurement H (height, Rs) PA (position angle) AW (angular width) M (mass)

47 CME Property: velocity Velocity is derived from a series of CME H-T (height- time) measurement A CME usually has a near- constant speed in the outer corona (e.g, > 2.0 Rs in C2/C3 field) Note: such measured velocity is the projected velocity on the plane of the sky; it is not the real velocity in the 3-D space.

48 CME Property: velocity distribution 6300 LASCO CMEs from 1996 to 2002 CME velocity 50 km/s to 3000 km/s Average vel.: 400 km/s Peak vel.: 300 km/s Median vel.: 350 km/s

49 CME Property: size AW = 80 degree AW = 360 degree, halo CME

50 CME Property: size Broad distribution of CME apparent angular width Average width 50 degree A number of halo CMEs (AW=360 degree), or partial halo CMEs (AW > 120 degree) Halo CMEs are those likely to impact the Earth orbit

51 CME Property: mass CME mass distribution from 10 13 to 10 16 gram Average CME mass about 10 15 gram Based on 2449 LASCO CMEs From 1996 to 2000

52 CME Morphology

53 CME morphology (cont) Three part CME structure 1.A bright frontal loop (or leading edge) Pile-up of surrounding plasma in the front 2.A dark cavity (surrounded by the frontal loop) possibly expanding flux rope or filament channel 3.A bright core (within the cavity) Composed of densely filament remnant material

54 kinematic Evolution of a CME A CME is strongly accelerated in the inner corona (<2 Rs) (Zhang et al., 2001, 2004) A CME maintains a more or less constant speed when it travels in the outer corona (>2 Rs)

55 Geo-effective CMEs: halo CMEs Whether a CME is able to intercept the Earth depends on its propagation direction in the heliosphere. A halo CME (360 degree of angular width) is likely to have a component moving along the Sun-Earth connection line A halo is a projection effect; it happens when a CME is initiated close to the disk center and thus moves along the Sun-Earth connection line. Therefore, a halo CME is possibly geo-effective. 2000/07/14 C2 EIT

56 CME models A model shall include many observational elements CME front cavity core Flare X-ray loop EUV loop arcade Hα flare ribbon Magnetic reconnection Current sheet Reconnection inflow Some Others filament eruption coronal dimming timing relation Energetic relation

57 CME models (cont.) Lin’s CME eruption model MHD analytic solution Animation

58 CME models (cont.) Aschwanden book: Fig. 17.3, P710: Numeric Simulation By Amari et al

59 CME models (cont.) Antiocs’s CME eruption model MHD numeric solution Multi-polar So-called break-out model

60 The End

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