First images of impulsive millimeter emission and spectral analysis of the 1994 August 18 solar flare

Adriana V.R. Silva, Dale Gary, Stephen M. White, R. P. Lin, Imke De Pater

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17 Scopus citations


We present here the first images of impulsive millimeter emission of a flare. The flare on 1994 August 18 was simultaneously observed at millimeter (86 GHz), microwave (1-18 GHz), and soft and hard X-ray wavelengths. Images of millimeter, soft and hard X-ray emission show the same compact (≲ 8″) source. Both the impulsive and the gradual phases are studied in order to determine the emission mechanisms. During the impulsive phase, the radio spectrum was obtained by combining the millimeter with simultaneous microwave emission. Fitting the nonthermal radio spectra as gyrosynchrotron radiation from a homogeneous source model with constant magnetic field yields the physical properties of the flaring source, that is, total number of electrons, power-law index of the electron energy distribution, and the nonthermal source size. These results are compared to those obtained from the hard X-ray spectra. The energy distribution of the energetic electrons inferred from the hard X-ray and radio spectra is found to follow a double power-law with slope ∼6-8 below ∼50 keV and ∼3-4 above those energies. The temporal evolution of the electron energy spectrum and its implication for the acceleration mechanism are discussed. Comparison of millimeter and soft X-ray emissions during the gradual phase implies that the millimeter emission is free-free radiation from the same hot soft X-ray emitting plasma, and further suggests that the flare source contains multiple temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-173
Number of pages17
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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