Radio Spectral Imaging of an M8.4 Eruptive Solar Flare: Possible Evidence of a Termination Shock

Yingjie Luo, Bin Chen, Sijie Yu, T. S. Bastian, Säm Krucker

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14 Scopus citations


Solar flare termination shocks have been suggested as one of the viable mechanisms for accelerating electrons and ions to high energies. Observational evidence of such shocks, however, remains rare. Using radio dynamic spectroscopic imaging of a long-duration C1.9 flare obtained by the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), Chen et al. suggested that a type of coherent radio bursts, referred to as "stochastic spike bursts,"were radio signatures of nonthermal electrons interacting with myriad density fluctuations at the front of a flare termination shock. Here we report another stochastic spike burst event recorded during the extended energy release phase of a long-duration M8.4-class eruptive flare on 2012 March 10. VLA radio spectroscopic imaging of the spikes in 1.0-1.6 GHz shows that, similar to the case of Chen et al., the burst centroids form an extended, ∼10″-long structure in the corona. By combining extreme-ultraviolet imaging observations of the flare from two vantage points with hard X-ray and ultraviolet observations of the flare ribbon brightenings, we reconstruct the flare arcade in three dimensions. The results show that the spike source is located at ∼60 Mm above the flare arcade, where a diffuse supra-arcade fan and multitudes of plasma downflows are present. Although the flare arcade and ribbons seen during the impulsive phase do not allow us to clearly understand how the observed spike source location is connected to the flare geometry, the cooling flare arcade observed 2 hr later suggests that the spikes are located in the above-the-loop-top region, where a termination shock presumably forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 16 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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