Solar Physics

, Volume 284, Issue 2, pp 315-327

First online:

Properties of the 15 February 2011 Flare Seismic Sources

  • S. ZharkovAffiliated withUCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London Email author 
  • , L. M. GreenAffiliated withUCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London
  • , S. A. MatthewsAffiliated withUCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London
  • , V. V. ZharkovaAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, University of Bradford

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The first near-side X-class flare of Solar Cycle 24 occurred in February 2011 (SOL2011-02-05T01:55) and produced a very strong seismic response in the photosphere. One sunquake was reported by Kosovichev (Astrophys. J. Lett. 734, L15, 2011), followed by the discovery of a second sunquake by Zharkov, Green, Matthews et al. (Astrophys. J. Lett. 741, L35, 2011). The flare had a two-ribbon structure and was associated with a flux-rope eruption and a halo coronal mass ejection (CME) as reported in the CACTus catalogue. Following the discovery of the second sunquake and the spatial association of both sources with the locations of the feet of the erupting flux rope (Zharkov, Green, Matthews et al., Astrophys. J. Lett. 741, L35, 2011), we present here a more detailed analysis of the observed photospheric changes in and around the seismic sources. These sunquakes are quite unusual, taking place early in the impulsive stage of the flare, with the seismic sources showing little hard X-ray (HXR) emission, and strongest X-ray emission sources located in the flare ribbons. We present a directional time–distance diagram computed for the second source, which clearly shows a ridge corresponding to the travelling acoustic-wave packet and find that the sunquake at the second source happened about 45 seconds to one minute earlier than the first source. Using acoustic holography we report different frequency responses of the two sources. We find strong downflows at both seismic locations and a supersonic horizontal motion at the second site of acoustic-wave excitation.


Sun: helioseismology Sun: flares Sun: X-rays Gamma ray