Energy Budget of Plasma Motions, Heating, and Electron Acceleration in a Three-loop Solar Flare

Gregory D. Fleishman, Lucia Kleint, Galina G. Motorina, Gelu M. Nita, Eduard P. Kontar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nonpotential magnetic energy promptly released in solar flares is converted to other forms of energy. This may include nonthermal energy of flare-accelerated particles, thermal energy of heated flaring plasma, and kinetic energy of eruptions, jets, upflows/downflows, and stochastic (turbulent) plasma motions. The processes or parameters governing partitioning of the released energy between these components are an open question. How these components are distributed between distinct flaring loops and what controls these spatial distributions are also unclear. Here, based on multiwavelength data and 3D modeling, we quantify the energy partitioning and spatial distribution in the well-observed SOL2014-02-16T064620 solar flare of class C1.5. Nonthermal emission of this flare displayed a simple impulsive single-spike light curve lasting about 20 s. In contrast, the thermal emission demonstrated at least three distinct heating episodes, only one of which was associated with the nonthermal component. The flare was accompanied by upflows and downflows and substantial turbulent velocities. The results of our analysis suggest that (i) the flare occurs in a multiloop system that included at least three distinct flux tubes; (ii) the released magnetic energy is divided unevenly between the thermal and nonthermal components in these loops; (iii) only one of these three flaring loops contains an energetically important amount of nonthermal electrons, while two other loops remain thermal; (iv) the amounts of direct plasma heating and that due to nonthermal electron loss are comparable; and (v) the kinetic energy in the flare footpoints constitutes only a minor fraction compared with the thermal and nonthermal energies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number97
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume913
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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