Can Proton Beam Heating Flare Models Explain Sunquakes?

Viacheslav M. Sadykov, John T. Stefan, Alexander G. Kosovichev, Andrey M. Stejko, Adam F. Kowalski, Joel C. Allred, Graham S. Kerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)/Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) observations reveal a class of solar flares with substantial energy and momentum impacts in the photosphere, concurrent with white-light emission and helioseismic responses, known as sunquakes. Previous radiative hydrodynamic modeling has demonstrated the challenges of explaining sunquakes in the framework of the standard flare model of “electron beam” heating. One of the possibilities to explain the sunquakes and other signatures of the photospheric impact is to consider additional heating mechanisms involved in solar flares, for example via flare-accelerated protons. In this work, we analyze a set of single-loop Fokker-Planck and radiative hydrodynamics RADYN+FP simulations where the atmosphere is heated by nonthermal power-law-distributed proton beams which can penetrate deeper than the electron beams into the low atmospheric layers. Using the output of the RADYN models, we calculate synthetic Fe i 6173 Å line Stokes profiles and from those the line-of-sight observables of the SDO/HMI instrument, as well as the 3D helioseismic response, and compare them with the corresponding observational characteristics. These initial results show that the models with proton beam heating can produce the enhancement of the HMI continuum observable and explain qualitatively the generation of sunquakes. The continuum observable enhancement is evident in all models but is more prominent in ones with E c ≥ 500 keV. In contrast, the models with E c ≤ 100 keV provide a stronger sunquake-like helioseismic impact according to the 3D acoustic modeling, suggesting that low-energy (deka- and hecto-keV) protons have an important role in the generation of sunquakes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number80
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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