Relative Timing and Spectra of Solar Flare Hard X-ray Sources
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Hard X-ray lightcurves, spectrograms, images, and spectra of three medium-sized flares observed by the Reuven Ramaty High-Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) are presented. Imaging spectroscopy of the 20 February 2002, 11:06 UT flare at 10′′ spatial resolution, comparable to the best previous hard X-ray imaging from Yohkoh, shows two footpoints with an ∼ 8 s delay of peak emission between footpoints. Subsequent imaging at le4′′ shows three sources consistent with two separate loops and simultaneous brightening in connected footpoints. Imaging for the simple two footpoint flare of 2 June 2002 also shows simultaneous footpoint brightening. The more complex 17 March 2002 flare shows at least four different sources during the main peak of the event, and it is difficult to clearly demonstrate simultaneous brightening of connected footpoints. Non-thermal power laws are observed down to ∼ 12–13 keV without flattening in all these events, indicating the energy content in energetic electrons may be significantly greater than previously estimated from assumed 25 keV low energy cutoff. Simultaneously brightening footpoints show similar spectra, at least in the three flares investigated. Double-power-law spectra with a relatively sharp break are often observed.
KeywordsThermal Emission Imaging Spectroscopy Impulsive Onset Overview Plot Spectrogram Plot
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