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Thermal and nonthermal contributions to the solar flare X-ray flux B. Dennis & K. PhillipsNASA/GSFC, USA J. & B. SylwesterSRC, Poland R. Schwartz & K.

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Presentation on theme: "Thermal and nonthermal contributions to the solar flare X-ray flux B. Dennis & K. PhillipsNASA/GSFC, USA J. & B. SylwesterSRC, Poland R. Schwartz & K."— Presentation transcript:

1 Thermal and nonthermal contributions to the solar flare X-ray flux B. Dennis & K. PhillipsNASA/GSFC, USA J. & B. SylwesterSRC, Poland R. Schwartz & K. TolbertSSAI/GSFC, USA The RHESSI Team

2 Separating Thermal & Nonthermal Temporal - gradual vs. impulsive Spatial - coronal vs. footpoint Spectral - exponential vs. power-law Spectral – iron-line complexes - always thermal!!!?

3 Thermal Spectra from Chianti (v. 4.2) Coronal Abundances (Fe & Ni 4 x photospheric)

4 Iron-line Complexes Peak Energies Function of temperature Complicated by RHESSI gain change with rate) Equivalent Widths (line-to-continuum ratio) Function of temperature and iron abundance Flux Ratio Function of temperature alone Caspi, Krucker, & Lin - poster E Fe complex at ~6.7 keV (1.9 Å) Fe/Ni complex at ~8 keV (1.6 Å)

5 Fe-line Energy vs. Temperature

6 Fe-line Equivalent Width vs. T Chianti – coronal abundances Mazzotta ionization fractions Mewe – coronal abundances Arnand & Raymond ionization fractions Chianti – photospheric abundances

7 26 April 2003 Flare Time Profile A0A1A3A1A0 All Detectors keV 6 – 12 keV 12 – 25 keV 25 – 50 keV Time for spectrum

8 RHESSI Count-rate Spectrum

9 RESIK, RHESSI, and GOES Spectra RESIK 1 st Order RHESSI GOES 26 April 2002, 03:00 UT

10 RESIK and RHESSI Flare Spectra RESIK 3 rd order Δ RHESSI Data RHESSI best-fit spectrum Fe-line fluxes (photons cm -2 s -1 ) RESIK:9.2 x 10 4 RHESSI:6.1 x April 2002, 03:03:12 – 03:05:32 UT Photon Energy in keV Flux in photons s -1 cm -2 keV -1

11 Equivalent Width vs. Temperature Chianti prediction 4x photospheric iron abundance Attenuator States + A0 - early rise o A1 - peak A3 - 1 st peak A1 - decay x A0 - late decay

12 Equivalent Width vs. Temperature Chianti prediction 4x photospheric iron abundance Attenuator States + A0 - early rise o A1 - peak A3 - 1 st & 2 nd peaks A1 - decay x A0 - late decay

13 Equivalent Width vs. Temperature 1T + 3G 2T + 3G Attenuator States + A0 - early rise o A1 - peak A3 - 1 st & 2 nd peaks A1 - decay x A0 - late decay

14 Conclusions Fe/H abundance ~4 x photospheric –Supports coronal origin of flare plasma (Feldman et al., ApJ, 609, 439, 2004) Temperature determination needs work –Chianti Fe/Ni-line fluxes in error? –RHESSI sensitivity vs. energy –RESIK sensitivity & fluorescence levels –Multi-temperature analysis

15 THERMAL AND NONTHERMAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE SOLAR FLARE X-RAY FLUX Abstract The relative thermal and nonthermal contributions to the total energy budget of a solar flare are being determined through analysis of RHESSI X-ray imaging and spectral observations in the energy range from ~5 to ~50 keV. The classic ways of differentiating between the thermal and nonthermal components – exponential vs. power-law spectra, impulsive vs. gradually varying flux, compact vs. extended sources – can now be combined for individual flares. In addition, RHESSIs sensitivity down to ~4 keV and energy resolution of ~1 keV FWHM allow the intensities and equivalent widths of the complex of highly ionized iron lines at ~6.7 keV and the complex of highly ionized iron and nickel lines at ~8 keV to be measured as a function of time. Using the spectral line and continuum intensities from the Chianti (version 4.2) atomic code, the thermal component of the total flare emission can be more reliably separated from the nonthermal component in the measured X-ray spectrum (Phillips, ApJ 2004, in press). The abundance of iron can also be determined from RHESSI line-to-continuum measurements as a function of time during larger flares. Results will be shown of the intensity and equivalent widths of these line complexes for several flares and the temperatures, emission measures, and iron abundances derived from them. Comparisons will be made with 6.7-keV Fe-line fluxes measured with the RESIK bent crystal spectrometer on the Coronas-F spacecraft operating in third order during the peak times of three flares (2002 May 31 at 00:12 UT, 2002 December 2 at 19:26 UT, and 2003 April 26 at 03:00 UT). During the rise and decay of these flares, RESIK was operating in first order allowing the continuum flux to be measured between 2.9 and 3.7 keV for comparison with RHESSI fluxes at its low-energy end.

16 Introduction RHESSI provides high resolution imaging and spectroscopy X-ray observations in the critical energy range from a few keV to a few tens of keV. These observations allow the following classic ways to be used to differentiate between the thermal and nonthermal components of the X-ray flux: –gradually vs. impulsively varying flux –exponential vs. power-law spectra, –extended coronal vs. compact footpoint sources RHESSI also detects the iron-line complex at ~6.7 keV (1.9 Å). –The peak energy is a function of temperature. –The equivalent width (line-to-continuum ratio) is a function of temperature and iron abundance. Mewe (1995) and Chianti (1997) give line and continuum spectra as functions of temperature and abundances. These predictions are compared with RHESSI measurements for the X-flare on 21 April References Mewe, R., Kaastra, J. S., Liedahl, D. A., Update of MEKA: MEKAL (http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/journal/meka6.html) Legacy, Journal of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HESARC), NASA GSFC, 6, 16, Dere, K. P.Dere, K. P.; Landi, E.; Mason, H. E.; Monsignori Fossi, B. C.; Young, P. R., CHIANTI - an atomic database for emission lines A & A Supplement series, 125, , 1997.Landi, E.Mason, H. E.Monsignori Fossi, B. C.Young, P. R.

17 26 April 2003 Time Profile A0A1A3A1A0

18 RHESSI Spectra Thin Shutters In (A1) Detector #4 1-minute accumulations

19 RHESSI Count-rate Spectrum

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22 RHESSI Count Spectrum 26 April 2003

23 RHESSI Photon Spectrum 26 April 2003


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