, Volume 286, Issue 1, pp 221-239

Sun-as-a-Star Observation of Flares in Lyman α by the PROBA2/LYRA Radiometer

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There are very few reports of flare signatures in the solar irradiance at H i Lyman α at 121.5 nm, i.e. the strongest line of the solar spectrum. The LYRA radiometer onboard PROBA2 has observed several flares for which unambiguous signatures have been found in its Lyman-α channel. Here we present a brief overview of these observations followed by a detailed study of one of them: the M2 flare that occurred on 8 February 2010. For this flare, the flux in the LYRA Lyman-α channel increased by 0.6 %, which represents about twice the energy radiated in the GOES soft X-ray channel and is comparable with the energy radiated in the He ii line at 30.4 nm. The Lyman-α emission represents only a minor part of the total radiated energy of this flare, for which a white-light continuum was detected. Additionally, we found that the Lyman-α flare profile follows the gradual phase but peaks before other wavelengths. This M2 flare was very localized and had a very brief impulsive phase, but more statistics are needed to determine if these factors influence the presence of a Lyman-α flare signal strong enough to appear in the solar irradiance.

PROBA2 – First Two Years of Solar Observation
Guest Editors: David Berghmans, Anik De Groof, Marie Dominique, and Jean-François Hochedez