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Reconnection of a Kinking Flux Rope Triggering the Ejection of a Microwave and Hard X-ray Source I. Observations and Interpretation

Abstract

Imaging microwave observations of an eruptive, partially occulted solar flare on 18 April 2001 suggest that the global structure of the event can be described by the helical kink instability of a twisted magnetic flux rope. This model is suggested by the inverse gamma shape of the source exhibiting crossing legs of a rising flux loop and by evidence that the legs interact at or near the crossing point. The interaction is reflected by the location of peak brightness near the crossing point and by the formation of superimposed compact nonthermal sources most likely at or near the crossing point. These sources propagate upward along both legs, merge into a single, bright source at the top of the structure, and continue to rise at a velocity >1000 km s−1. The compact sources trap accelerated electrons which radiate in the radio and hard X-ray ranges. This suggests that they are plasmoids, although their internal structure is not revealed by the data. They exhibit variations of the radio brightness temperature at a characteristic time scale of ∼ 40 s, anti-correlated to their area, which also support their interpretation as plasmoids. Their propagation path differs from the standard scenario of plasmoid formation and propagation in the flare current sheet, suggesting the helical current sheet formed by the instability instead.

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Correspondence to M. Karlický.

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Karlický, M., Kliem, B. Reconnection of a Kinking Flux Rope Triggering the Ejection of a Microwave and Hard X-ray Source I. Observations and Interpretation. Sol Phys 266, 71–89 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11207-010-9606-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11207-010-9606-4

Keywords

  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: radio radiation