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Unprecedented Fine Structure of a Solar Flare Revealed by the 1.6 m New Solar Telescope.

Jing J, Xu Y, Cao W, Liu C, Gary D, Wang H - Sci Rep (2016)

Bottom Line: Here we present observation of a solar flare using exceptionally high resolution images from the 1.6 m New Solar Telescope (NST) equipped with high order adaptive optics at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO).Taking advantage of the resolving power of the NST, we measure the cross-sectional widths of flare ribbons, post-flare loops and footpoint brighenings, which generally lie in the range of 80-200 km, well below the resolution of most current instruments used for flare studies.Confining the scale of such fine structure provides an essential piece of information in modeling the energy transport mechanism of flares, which is an important issue in solar and plasma physics.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center For Solar-Terrestrial Research, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University Heights, Newark, NJ 07102-1982, USA.

ABSTRACT
Solar flares signify the sudden release of magnetic energy and are sources of so called space weather. The fine structures (below 500 km) of flares are rarely observed and are accessible to only a few instruments world-wide. Here we present observation of a solar flare using exceptionally high resolution images from the 1.6 m New Solar Telescope (NST) equipped with high order adaptive optics at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO). The observation reveals the process of the flare in unprecedented detail, including the flare ribbon propagating across the sunspots, coronal rain (made of condensing plasma) streaming down along the post-flare loops, and the chromosphere's response to the impact of coronal rain, showing fine-scale brightenings at the footpoints of the falling plasma. Taking advantage of the resolving power of the NST, we measure the cross-sectional widths of flare ribbons, post-flare loops and footpoint brighenings, which generally lie in the range of 80-200 km, well below the resolution of most current instruments used for flare studies. Confining the scale of such fine structure provides an essential piece of information in modeling the energy transport mechanism of flares, which is an important issue in solar and plasma physics.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

A snapshot NST Hα + 1.0 Å image (gray scale) taken at 18:54:34 UT.White contours are magnetic polarity inversion lines (PILs). The superimposed dots summarize the locations of footpoint brightenings in the image sequence which were identified manually. The colors are assigned in chronological order of appearance. Time is indicated by the color code.
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f5: A snapshot NST Hα + 1.0 Å image (gray scale) taken at 18:54:34 UT.White contours are magnetic polarity inversion lines (PILs). The superimposed dots summarize the locations of footpoint brightenings in the image sequence which were identified manually. The colors are assigned in chronological order of appearance. Time is indicated by the color code.

Mentions: The most interesting new phenomenon revealed by this observation is the fine-scale brightenings at the footpoints of falling plasma. It is obvious in the movie that coronal rain streams down along the loops and causes brightenings when it impacts the surface. These brightenings are red-shifted in our pseudo Dopplergrams, also suggesting a connection with the downward flow of plasma (Fig. 4c). Here we measure the cross-sectional FWHM of the brightenings, as demonstrated for a few examples in Fig. 4. Each brightening usually disappears within 1–2 min with the depletion of the stream of plasma. On the whole they appear in succession with a clear tendency to appear progressively further away from the primary magnetic polarity inversion line (PIL) with time (Fig. 5) just like the flaring ribbons do.


Unprecedented Fine Structure of a Solar Flare Revealed by the 1.6 m New Solar Telescope.

Jing J, Xu Y, Cao W, Liu C, Gary D, Wang H - Sci Rep (2016)

A snapshot NST Hα + 1.0 Å image (gray scale) taken at 18:54:34 UT.White contours are magnetic polarity inversion lines (PILs). The superimposed dots summarize the locations of footpoint brightenings in the image sequence which were identified manually. The colors are assigned in chronological order of appearance. Time is indicated by the color code.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4829858&req=5

f5: A snapshot NST Hα + 1.0 Å image (gray scale) taken at 18:54:34 UT.White contours are magnetic polarity inversion lines (PILs). The superimposed dots summarize the locations of footpoint brightenings in the image sequence which were identified manually. The colors are assigned in chronological order of appearance. Time is indicated by the color code.
Mentions: The most interesting new phenomenon revealed by this observation is the fine-scale brightenings at the footpoints of falling plasma. It is obvious in the movie that coronal rain streams down along the loops and causes brightenings when it impacts the surface. These brightenings are red-shifted in our pseudo Dopplergrams, also suggesting a connection with the downward flow of plasma (Fig. 4c). Here we measure the cross-sectional FWHM of the brightenings, as demonstrated for a few examples in Fig. 4. Each brightening usually disappears within 1–2 min with the depletion of the stream of plasma. On the whole they appear in succession with a clear tendency to appear progressively further away from the primary magnetic polarity inversion line (PIL) with time (Fig. 5) just like the flaring ribbons do.

Bottom Line: Here we present observation of a solar flare using exceptionally high resolution images from the 1.6 m New Solar Telescope (NST) equipped with high order adaptive optics at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO).Taking advantage of the resolving power of the NST, we measure the cross-sectional widths of flare ribbons, post-flare loops and footpoint brighenings, which generally lie in the range of 80-200 km, well below the resolution of most current instruments used for flare studies.Confining the scale of such fine structure provides an essential piece of information in modeling the energy transport mechanism of flares, which is an important issue in solar and plasma physics.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center For Solar-Terrestrial Research, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University Heights, Newark, NJ 07102-1982, USA.

ABSTRACT
Solar flares signify the sudden release of magnetic energy and are sources of so called space weather. The fine structures (below 500 km) of flares are rarely observed and are accessible to only a few instruments world-wide. Here we present observation of a solar flare using exceptionally high resolution images from the 1.6 m New Solar Telescope (NST) equipped with high order adaptive optics at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO). The observation reveals the process of the flare in unprecedented detail, including the flare ribbon propagating across the sunspots, coronal rain (made of condensing plasma) streaming down along the post-flare loops, and the chromosphere's response to the impact of coronal rain, showing fine-scale brightenings at the footpoints of the falling plasma. Taking advantage of the resolving power of the NST, we measure the cross-sectional widths of flare ribbons, post-flare loops and footpoint brighenings, which generally lie in the range of 80-200 km, well below the resolution of most current instruments used for flare studies. Confining the scale of such fine structure provides an essential piece of information in modeling the energy transport mechanism of flares, which is an important issue in solar and plasma physics.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus