Radio emission from solar flares

T. S. Bastian, A. O. Benz, Dale Gary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

472 Scopus citations


Radio emission from solar flares offers a number of unique diagnostic tools to address long-standing questions about energy release, plasma heating, particle acceleration, and particle transport in magnetized plasmas. At millimeter and centimeter wavelengths, incoherent gyrosynchrotron emission from electrons with energies of tens of kilo electron volts to several mega electron volts plays a dominant role. These electrons carry a significant fraction of the energy released during the impulsive phase of flares. At decimeter and meter wavelengths, coherent plasma radiation can play a dominant role. Particularly important are type III and type III-like radio bursts, which are due to upward- and downward-directed beams of nonthermal electrons, presumed to originate in the energy release site. With the launch of Yohkoh and the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory, the relationship between radio emission and energetic photon emissions has been clarified. In this review, recent progress on our understanding of radio emission from impulsive flares and its relation to X-ray emission is discussed, as well as energy release in flare-like phenomena (microflares, nanoflares) and their bearing on coronal heating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-188
Number of pages58
JournalAnnual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Energy release
  • Particle acceleration
  • Radio radiation
  • X rays
  • γ rays


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