Dynamic Spectral Imaging of Decimetric Fiber Bursts in an Eruptive Solar Flare

Zhitao Wang, Bin Chen, Dale Gary

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12 Scopus citations


Fiber bursts are a type of fine structure that is often superposed on type IV radio continuum emission during solar flares. Although studied for many decades, its physical exciter, emission mechanism, and association with the flare energy release remain unclear, partly due to the lack of simultaneous imaging observations. We report the first dynamic spectroscopic imaging observations of decimetric fiber bursts, which occurred during the rise phase of a long-duration eruptive flare on 2012 March 3, as obtained by the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in 1-2 GHz. Our results show that the fiber sources are located near and above one footpoint of the flare loops. The fiber source and the background continuum source are found to be co-spatial and share the same morphology. It is likely that they are associated with nonthermal electrons trapped in the converging magnetic fields near the footpoint, as supported by a persistent coronal hard X-ray source present during the flare rise phase. We analyze three groups of fiber bursts in detail with dynamic imaging spectroscopy and obtain their mean frequency-dependent centroid trajectories in projection. By using a barometric density model and magnetic field based on a potential field extrapolation, we further reconstruct the 3D source trajectories of fiber bursts, for comparison with expectations from the whistler wave model and two MHD-based models. We conclude that the observed fiber burst properties are consistent with an exciter moving at the propagation velocity expected for whistler waves, or models that posit similar exciter velocities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number77
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 20 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: magnetic fields
  • Sun: radio radiation
  • techniques: imaging spectroscopy


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