2,584 research outputs found

    Investigating the differential emission measure and energetics of microflares with combined SDO/AIA and RHESSI observations

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    An important question in solar physics is whether solar microflares, the smallest currently observable flare events in X-rays, possess the same energetic properties as large flares. Recent surveys have suggested that microflares may be less efficient particle accelerators than large flares, and hence contribute less nonthermal energy, which may have implications for coronal heating mechanisms. We therefore explore the energetic properties of microflares by combining Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) and X-ray measurements. We present forward-fitting differential emission measure (DEM) analysis of 10 microflares. The fitting is constrained by combining, for the first time, high temperature RHESSI observations and flux data from SDO/AIA. Two fitting models are tested for the DEM; a Gaussian distribution and a uniform DEM profile. A Gaussian fit proved unable to explain the observations for any of the studied microflares. However, 8 of 10 events studied were reasonably fit by a uniform DEM profile. Hence microflare plasma can be considered to be significantly multi-thermal, and may not be significantly peaked or contain resolvable fine structure, within the uncertainties of the observational instruments. The thermal and non-thermal energy is estimated for each microflare, comparing the energy budget with an isothermal plasma assumption. From the multithermal fits the minimum non-thermal energy content was found to average approximately 30% of the estimated thermal energy. By comparison, under an isothermal model the non-thermal and thermal energy estimates were generally comparable. Hence, multi-thermal plasma is an important consideration for solar microflares that substantially alters their thermal and non-thermal energy content.Comment: 13 pages, 10 Figures, 2 tables. Accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journa

    Quasi-periodic pulsations in solar and stellar flares: re-evaluating their nature in the context of power-law flare Fourier spectra

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    The nature of quasi-periodic pulsations in solar and stellar flares remains debated. Recent work has shown that power-law-like Fourier power spectra, also referred to as 'red' noise processes, are an intrinsic property of solar and stellar flare signals, a property that many previous studies of this phenomenon have not accounted for. Hence a re-evaluation of the existing interpretations and assumptions regarding QPP is needed. Here we adopt a Bayesian method for investigating this phenomenon, fully considering the Fourier power law properties of flare signals. Using data from the PROBA2/LYRA, Fermi/GBM, Nobeyama Radioheliograph and Yohkoh/HXT instruments, we study a selection of flares from the literature identified as QPP events. Additionally we examine optical data from a recent stellar flare that appears to exhibit oscillatory properties. We find that, for all but one event tested, an explicit oscillation is not required in order to explain the observations. Instead, the flare signals are adequately described as a manifestation of a power law in the Fourier power spectrum, rather than a direct signature of oscillating components or structures. However, for the flare of 1998 May 8, strong evidence for the existence of an explicit oscillation with P ~ 14-16 s is found in the 17 GHz radio data and the 13-23 keV Yohkoh HXT data. We conclude that, most likely, many previously analysed events in the literature may be similarly described in terms of power laws in the flare Fourier power spectrum, without the need to invoke a narrowband, oscillatory component. As a result the prevalence of oscillatory signatures in solar and stellar flares may be less than previously believed. The physical mechanism behind the appearance of the observed power laws is discussed.Comment: 11 pages, 7 figures, 1 table. Accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journa

    Quasi-Periodic Pulsations during the Impulsive and Decay phases of an X-class Flare

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    Quasi-periodic pulsations (QPP) are often observed in X-ray emission from solar flares. To date, it is unclear what their physical origins are. Here, we present a multi-instrument investigation of the nature of QPP during the impulsive and decay phases of the X1.0 flare of 28 October 2013. We focus on the character of the fine structure pulsations evident in the soft X-ray time derivatives and compare this variability with structure across multiple wavelengths including hard X-ray and microwave emission. We find that during the impulsive phase of the flare, high correlations between pulsations in the thermal and non-thermal emissions are seen. A characteristic timescale of ~20s is observed in all channels and a second timescale of ~55s is observed in the non-thermal emissions. Soft X-ray pulsations are seen to persist into the decay phase of this flare, up to 20 minutes after the non-thermal emission has ceased. We find that these decay phase thermal pulsations have very small amplitude and show an increase in characteristic timescale from ~40s up to ~70s. We interpret the bursty nature of the co-existing multi-wavelength QPP during the impulsive phase in terms of episodic particle acceleration and plasma heating. The persistent thermal decay phase QPP are most likely connected with compressive MHD processes in the post-flare loops such as the fast sausage mode or the vertical kink mode.Comment: 7 pages, 4 figures, 1 tabl

    Instrumental oscillations in RHESSI count rates during solar flares

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    Aims: We seek to illustrate the analysis problems posed by RHESSI spacecraft motion by studying persistent instrumental oscillations found in the lightcurves measured by RHESSI's X-ray detectors in the 6-12 keV and 12-25 keV energy range during the decay phase of the flares of 2004 November 4 and 6. Methods: The various motions of the RHESSI spacecraft which may contribute to the manifestation of oscillations are studied. The response of each detector in turn is also investigated. Results: We find that on 2004 November 6 the observed oscillations correspond to the nutation period of the RHESSI instrument. These oscillations are also of greatest amplitude for detector 5, while in the lightcurves of many other detectors the oscillations are small or undetectable. We also find that the variation in detector pointing is much larger during this flare than the counterexample of 2004 November 4. Conclusions: Sufficiently large nutation motions of the RHESSI spacecraft lead to clearly observable oscillations in count rates, posing a significant hazard for data analysis. This issue is particularly problematic for detector 5 due to its design characteristics. Dynamic correction of the RHESSI counts, accounting for the livetime, data gaps, and the transmission of the bi-grid collimator of each detector, is required to overcome this issue. These corrections should be applied to all future oscillation studies.Comment: 8 pages, 10 figure

    Analytical relationship for the cranking inertia

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    The wave function of a spheroidal harmonic oscillator without spin-orbit interaction is expressed in terms of associated Laguerre and Hermite polynomials. The pairing gap and Fermi energy are found by solving the BCS system of two equations. Analytical relationships for the matrix elements of inertia are obtained function of the main quantum numbers and potential derivative. They may be used to test complex computer codes one should develop in a realistic approach of the fission dynamics. The results given for the 240^{240}Pu nucleus are compared with a hydrodynamical model. The importance of taking into account the correction term due to the variation of the occupation number is stressed.Comment: 12 pages, 4 figure

    Detection and Interpretation Of Long-Lived X-Ray Quasi-Periodic Pulsations in the X-Class Solar Flare On 2013 May 14

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    Quasi-periodic pulsations (QPP) seen in the time derivative of the GOES soft X-ray light curves are analyzed for the near-limb X3.2 event on 14 May 2013. The pulsations are apparent for a total of at least two hours from the impulsive phase to well into the decay phase, with a total of 163 distinct pulses evident to the naked eye. A wavelet analysis shows that the characteristic time scale of these pulsations increases systematically from ∼\sim25 s at 01:10 UT, the time of the GOES peak, to ∼\sim100 s at 02:00 UT. A second ridge in the wavelet power spectrum, most likely associated with flaring emission from a different active region, shows an increase from ∼\sim40 s at 01:40 UT to ∼\sim100 s at 03:10 UT. We assume that the QPP that produced the first ridge result from vertical kink-mode oscillations of the newly formed loops following magnetic reconnection in the coronal current sheet. This allows us to estimate the magnetic field strength as a function of altitude given the density, loop length, and QPP time scale as functions of time determined from the GOES light curves and RHESSI images. The calculated magnetic field strength of the newly formed loops ranges from about ∼\sim500 G at an altitude of 24 Mm to a low value of ∼\sim10 G at 60 Mm, in general agreement with the expected values at these altitudes. Fast sausage mode oscillations are also discussed and cannot be ruled out as an alternate mechanism for producing the QPP

    The Electron Scattering Region in Seyfert Nuclei

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    The electron scattering region (ESR) is one of important ingredients in Seyfert nuclei because it makes possible to observe the hidden broad line region (hereafter HBLR) in some type 2 Seyfert nuclei (hereafter S2s). However, little is known about its physical and geometrical properties. Using the number ratio of S2s with and without HBLR, we investigate statistically where the ESR is in Seyfert nuclei. Our analysis suggests that the ESR is located at radius between ∼\sim 0.01 pc and ∼\sim 0.1 pc from the central engine. We also discuss a possible origin of the ESR briefly.Comment: 5 pages and 1 figure. The Astrophysical Journal (Letters), in pres
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