Understanding the dynamics of the quiet solar corona is important for answering key questions including the coronal heating problem. Multiple studies have suggested small-scale magnetic-reconnection events may play a crucial role. These reconnection events are expected to involve acceleration of electrons to suprathermal energies, which can then produce nonthermal observational signatures. However, due to the paucity of sensitive high-fidelity observations capable of probing these nonthermal signatures, most studies were unable to quantify their nonthermal nature. Here we use joint radio observations from the Very Large Array (VLA) and the Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array (EOVSA) to detect transient emissions from the quiet solar corona in the microwave (GHz) domain. While similar transients have been reported in the past, their nonthermal nature could not be adequately quantified due to the unavailability of broadband observations. Using a much larger bandwidth available now with the VLA and EOVSA, in this study, we are able to quantify the nonthermal energy associated with two of these transients. We find that the total nonthermal energy associated with some of these transients can be comparable to or even larger than the total thermal energy of a nanoflare, which underpins the importance of nonthermal energy in the total coronal energy budget.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science