, Volume 155, Issue 1, pp 149-170

Neutron and electromagnetic emissions during the 1990 May 24 solar flare

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Abstract

In this paper, we are primarily concerned with the solar neutron emission during the 1990 May 24 flare, utilizing the counting rate of the Climax neutron monitor and the time profiles of hard X-rays and γ-rays obtained with the GRANAT satellite (Pelaezet al., 1992; Talonet al., 1993; Terekhovet al., 1993). We compare the derived neutron injection function with macroscopic parameters of the flare region as obtained from the and microwave observations made at the Big Bear Solar Observatory and the Owens Valley Radio Observatory, respectively. Our results are summarized as follows: (1) to explain the neutron monitor counting rate and 57.5–110 MeV and 2.2 MeV γ-ray time profiles, we consider a two-component neutron injection function,Q(E, t), with the form $$Q(E,t) = N_f {\text{ exp[}} - E/E_f - t/T_f ] + N_s {\text{ exp[}} - E/E_s - t/T_s ],$$ whereN f(s),E f(s), andT f(s) denote number, energy, and decay time of the fast (slow) injection component, respectively. By comparing the calculated neutron counting rate with the observations from the Climax neutron monitor we derive the best-fit parameters asT f ≈ 20 s,E f ≈ 310 MeV,T s ≈ 260 s,E s ≈ 80 MeV, andN f (E > 100 MeV)/N s (E > 100 MeV) ≈ 0.2. (2) From the Hα observations, we find a relatively small loop of length ≈ 2 × 104 km, which may be regarded as the source for the fast-decaying component of γ-rays (57.5–110 MeV) and for the fast component of neutron emission. From microwave visibility and the microwave total power spectrum we postulate the presence of a rather big loop (≈ 2 × 105 km), which we regard as being responsible for the slow-decaying component of the high-energy emission. We show how the neutron and γ-ray emission data can be explained in terms of the macroscopic parameters derived from the Hα and microwave observations. (3) The Hα observations also reveal the presence of a fast mode MHD shock (the Moreton wave) which precedes the microwave peak by 20–30 s and the peak of γ-ray intensity by 40–50 s. From this relative timing and the single-pulsed time profiles of both radiations, we can attribute the whole event as due to a prompt acceleration of both electrons and protons by the shock and subsequent deceleration of the trapped particles while they propagate inside the magnetic loops.

Visiting Associate from St. Petersburg State Technical University, St. Petersburg, 195251, Russia.