Implosion of coronal loops during the impulsive phase of a solar flare

P. J. A. Simões, L. Fletcher, H. S. Hudson, A. J. B. Russell

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    Abstract

    We study the relationship between implosive motions in a solar flare, and the energy redistribution in the form of oscillatory structures and particle acceleration. The flare SOL2012-03-09T03:53 (M6.4) shows clear evidence for an irreversible (stepwise) coronal implosion. Extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) images show at least four groups of coronal loops at different heights overlying the flaring core undergoing fast contraction during the impulsive phase of the flare. These contractions start around a minute after the flare onset, and the rate of contraction is closely associated with the intensity of the hard X-ray and microwave emissions. They also seem to have a close relationship with the dimming associated with the formation of the coronal mass ejection and a global EUV wave. Several studies now have detected contracting motions in the corona during solar flares that can be interpreted as the implosion necessary to release energy. Our results confirm this, and tighten the association with the flare impulsive phase. We add to the phenomenology by noting the presence of oscillatory variations revealed by Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite soft X-rays (SXR) and spatially integrated EUV emission at 94 and 335 Å. We identify pulsations of 60 s in SXR and EUV data, which we interpret as persistent, semi-regular compressions of the flaring core region which modulate the plasma temperature and emission measure. The loop oscillations, observed over a large region, also allow us to provide rough estimates of the energy temporarily stored in the eigenmodes of the active-region structure as it approaches its new equilibrium.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Volume777
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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