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The Observational Motivation for Computational Advances in Solar Flare Physics

Abstract

A solar flare is a violent and transient release of energy in the corona of the Sun, associated with the reconfiguration of the coronal magnetic field. The major mystery of solar flare physics is the precise nature of the conversion of stored magnetic energy into the copious accelerated particles that are observed indirectly by the radiation that they produce, and also directly with in situ detectors. This presents a major challenge for theory and modeling. Recent years have brought significant observational advances in the study of solar flares, addressing the storage and release of magnetic energy, and the acceleration and propagation of fast electrons and ions. This paper concentrates on two topics relevant to the early phase of a flare, magnetic reconnection and charged particle acceleration and transport. Some recent pertinent observations are reviewed and pointers given for the directions that, this reviewer suggests, computational models should now seek to take.

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Correspondence to Lyndsay Fletcher.

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Fletcher, L. The Observational Motivation for Computational Advances in Solar Flare Physics. Space Sci Rev 121, 141–152 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-006-7181-7

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Keywords

  • solar flares