Solar flares with similar soft but different hard X-ray emissions: Case and statistical studies

Ivan N. Sharykin, Alexei B. Struminsky, Ivan V. Zimovets, Wei Qun Gan

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2 Scopus citations


From the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) catalog we select events which have approximately the same GOES class (high C - low M or 500-1200 counts s-1 within the RHESSI 6-12 keV energy band), but with different maximal energies of detected hard X-rays. The selected events are subdivided into two groups: (1) flares with X-ray emissions observed by RHESSI up to only 50 keV and (2) flares with hard X-ray emission observed also above 50 keV. The main task is to understand observational peculiarities of these two flare groups. We use RHESSI X-ray data to obtain spectral and spatial information in order to find differences between selected groups. Spectra and images are analyzed in detail for six events (case study). For a larger number of samples (85 and 28 flares in the low-energy and high-energy groups respectively) we only make some generalizations. In spectral analysis we use the thick-target model for hard X-ray emission and one temperature assumption for thermal soft X-ray emission. RHESSI X-ray images are used for determination of flare region sizes. Although thermal and spatial properties of these two groups of flares are not easily distinguishable, power law indices of hard X-rays show significant differences. Events from the high-energy group generally have a harder spectrum. Therefore, the efficiency of chromospheric evaporation is not sensitive to the hardness of nonthermal electron spectra but rather depends on the total energy flux of nonthermal electrons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number005
JournalResearch in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: X-rays
  • Sun: flares
  • gamma rays


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