The optical continuum of solar and stellar flares

M. A. Livshits, O. G. Badalyan, A. G. Kosovichev, M. M. Katsova

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A further development of the Kostyuk-Pikelner's model is presented. The response of the chromosphere heated by non-thermal electrons of the power-law energy spectrum has been studied on the basis of the numerical solution of the one-dimensional time-dependent equations of gravitational gas dynamics. The ionization and energy loss for the emissions in the Lyman and Balmer lines have been determined separately for the optically thin and thick Lα-line layers. Due to the initial heating, a higher-pressure region is formed. From this region, disturbances propagate upwards (a shock wave with a velocity of more than 1000 km s-1) and downwards. A temperature jump propagates downwards, and a shock is formed in front of the thermal wave. During a period of several seconds after the beginning of this process, the temperature jump intensifies the downward shock wave and the large radiative loss gives rise to the high density jump (ρ{variant}2/ρ{variant}1 ∼ 100). The numerical solution has been analyzed in detail for the case heating of the ionized and neutral plasma, and a value of this heating is close to the upper limit of the admissible values. In this case, the condensation located between the temperature jump and the shock wave front, may emit in the observed optical continuum. In their essential features, the gas dynamic processes during the flares in red dwarf atmospheres are the same as those in the solar atmosphere. However, the high atmospheric densities, smaller height scale in red dwarf atmospheres, and greater energy of this processes in stellar flares, give rise, in practice, to the regular generation of optical continuum. The photometric parameters of a source with n ∼ 015 cm-3, T ∼ 9000 K, and Δz ∼ 10 km are in a good agreement with observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-288
Number of pages20
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1981
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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