Comprehensive multiwavelength observations of the 1992 January 7 solar flare

Adriana V.R. Silva, Stephen M. White, Robert P. Lin, Imke De Pater, Dale Gary, James M. McTiernan, Hugh S. Hudson, J. Gerry Doyle, Mona J. Hagyard, Mukul R. Kundu

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12 Scopus citations


Observations of a solar flare that occurred at 2022 UT on 1992 January 7, during the 1991 December/ 1992 January Max '91 campaign, are presented. This flare was observed simultaneously in Hα, radio (at microwave and millimeter wavelengths), and soft and hard X-rays (by the Yohkoh spacecraft) with high spatial and moderate spectral resolution. A comparison of magnetograms before and after the flare shows evidence of the emergence of new magnetic flux of opposite polarity at the flare site. Although this flare was only of moderate size (GOES classification C8.9 and Hα importance SF), it exhibited several distinct bursts and at least 10 spatially distinct hard/soft X-ray sources. Cospatial Hα brightenings suggest that most of the X-ray sources are located at footpoints of magnetic loops. Two of the hard X-ray sources have no Hα counterparts and are therefore believed to be located at loop tops. The flare consisted of three bursts of particle acceleration followed by a purely thermal phase. High spectral resolution Ca XIX line profiles indicate upflows shortly after the second acceleration phase. Analysis of the microwave/hard X-ray/soft X-ray emission from individual sources provides information on the radio emission mechanisms, the energetic electron population, the magnetic field strength, and the plasma density. These parameters were estimated for the two microwave sources observed during the third acceleration burst; these sources were simultaneously detected in soft X-rays, and one of the sources is also seen in hard X-ray maps. Although the microwave emission is consistent with the gyrosynchrotron mechanism, the millimeter emission, which peaks during the thermal phase when all nonthermal activity has ceased, is likely due to thermal bremsstrahlung from the soft X-ray-emitting hot plasma. The energy lost to collisions by the energetic (>15 keV) electrons and the energy contained in the thermal plasma are calculated for each source. The energy injected by the nonthermal electrons from all sources is estimated to be ∼1030 ergs. Only the soft X-ray sources with gradual time profiles seem to show the Neupert effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-646
Number of pages26
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Flares - Sun
  • Magnetic fields - Sun
  • Radio radiation - Sun
  • Sun
  • X-rays, gamma rays


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