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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

Cross-sectional Gaussian FWHM distribution of post-flare loops (blue) based on a sample of 107 loops, and that of footpoint(FP) brightenings (yellow) based on a sample of 108 brightenings.The vertical blue/yellow dashed lines represent the mean of each distribution. The vertical grey solid line marks the resolution limit of NST/VIS.
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f6: Cross-sectional Gaussian FWHM distribution of post-flare loops (blue) based on a sample of 107 loops, and that of footpoint(FP) brightenings (yellow) based on a sample of 108 brightenings.The vertical blue/yellow dashed lines represent the mean of each distribution. The vertical grey solid line marks the resolution limit of NST/VIS.

Mentions: Figure 6 presents the FWHM distribution of post-flare loops and that of footpoint brightenings, based on the samples of 107 loops and 108 brightenings. Note that our samples do not cover all the loops and brightenings identified in the image sequence. We tend to select those of distinctive and relatively pronounced cross-sectional intensity profiles close to a Gaussian distribution. As shown in Fig. 6, flare loops and footpoint brightenings have similar width distributions with an average of 124 ± 19 km and 150 ± 15 km, respectively.


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)

Cross-sectional Gaussian FWHM distribution of post-flare loops (blue) based on a sample of 107 loops, and that of footpoint(FP) brightenings (yellow) based on a sample of 108 brightenings.The vertical blue/yellow dashed lines represent the mean of each distribution. The vertical grey solid line marks the resolution limit of NST/VIS.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f6: Cross-sectional Gaussian FWHM distribution of post-flare loops (blue) based on a sample of 107 loops, and that of footpoint(FP) brightenings (yellow) based on a sample of 108 brightenings.The vertical blue/yellow dashed lines represent the mean of each distribution. The vertical grey solid line marks the resolution limit of NST/VIS.
Mentions: Figure 6 presents the FWHM distribution of post-flare loops and that of footpoint brightenings, based on the samples of 107 loops and 108 brightenings. Note that our samples do not cover all the loops and brightenings identified in the image sequence. We tend to select those of distinctive and relatively pronounced cross-sectional intensity profiles close to a Gaussian distribution. As shown in Fig. 6, flare loops and footpoint brightenings have similar width distributions with an average of 124 ± 19 km and 150 ± 15 km, respectively.

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