Electrons and ions are rapidly accelerated to high energies during the explosive releases of energy we call solar flares. While the electromagnetic radiation from sub-relativistic flare electrons was routinely measured by hard X-ray detectors and radio telescopes, the radiation from energetic ions and relativistic electrons had been detected from only a handful of flares before the launch of sensitive high-energy detectors on the Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) satellite in 1980. As a consequence, our understanding of flare acceleration before the maximum of solar cycle 21 was largely inferred from measurements of charged particles in interplanetary space, and by extrapolation of X-ray and radio observations.
KeywordsMicrowave Anisotropy Convection Helium Explosive
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