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[en] With SDO observations and a data-constrained magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) model, we identify a confined multi-ribbon flare that occurred on 2010 October 25 in solar active region 11117 as a magnetic bald patch (BP) flare with strong evidence. From the photospheric magnetic field observed by SDO /HMI, we find there are indeed magnetic BPs on the polarity inversion lines (PILs) which match parts of the flare ribbons. From the 3D coronal magnetic field derived from an MHD relaxation model constrained by the vector magnetograms, we find strikingly good agreement of the BP separatrix surface (BPSS) footpoints with the flare ribbons, and the BPSS itself with the hot flaring loop system. Moreover, the triggering of the BP flare can be attributed to a small flux emergence under the lobe of the BPSS, and the relevant change of coronal magnetic field through the flare is reproduced well by the pre-flare and post-flare MHD solutions, which match the corresponding pre- and post-flare AIA observations, respectively. Our work contributes to the study of non-typical flares that constitute the majority of solar flares but which cannot be explained by the standard flare model. (paper)
[en] Estimation of the radiation energy of 15 thousand flares observed during the period of 1978-1979 is made and the analysis is performed of their energy distribution. The equation is suggested for energetic flare index which is characteristic of the flare energy release. The arguments are presented in favour of the idea that solar flares are an independent class of events on the Sun. It is shown that the energy distributions of the flares both on the Sun and on the UV Cet-type stars can be expressed by power dependences and have the same exponent
[en] We present the results of a search for white-light flares on ∼23,000 cool dwarfs in the Kepler Quarter 1 long cadence data. We have identified 373 flaring stars, some of which flare multiple times during the observation period. We calculate relative flare energies, flare rates, and durations and compare these with the quiescent photometric variability of our sample. We find that M dwarfs tend to flare more frequently but for shorter durations than K dwarfs and that they emit more energy relative to their quiescent luminosity in a given flare than K dwarfs. Stars that are more photometrically variable in quiescence tend to emit relatively more energy during flares, but variability is only weakly correlated with flare frequency. We estimate distances for our sample of flare stars and find that the flaring fraction agrees well with other observations of flare statistics for stars within 300 pc above the Galactic plane. These observations provide a more rounded view of stellar flares by sampling stars that have not been pre-selected by their activity, and are informative for understanding the influence of these flares on planetary habitability.
[en] Continuum (“white-light,” WL) emission dominates the energetics of flares. Filter-based observations, such as the IRIS SJI 2832 filter, show WL-like brightenings during flares, but it is unclear whether the emission arises from real continuum emission or enhanced spectral lines, possibly turning into emission. The difficulty in filter-based observations, contrary to spectral observations, is to determine which processes contribute to the observed brightening during flares. Here we determine the contribution of the Balmer continuum and the spectral line emission to IRIS ’ SJI 2832 emission by analyzing the appropriate passband in simultaneous IRIS NUV spectra. We find that spectral line emission can contribute up to 100% to the observed slitjaw images (SJI) emission, that the relative contributions usually temporally vary, and that the highest SJI enhancements that are observed are most likely because of the Balmer continuum. We conclude that care should be taken when calling SJI 2832 a continuum filter during flares, because the influence of the lines on the emission can be significant.
[en] We present the results of a study of intermittency and multifractality of magnetic structures in solar active regions (ARs). Line-of-sight magnetograms for 214 ARs of different flare productivity observed at the center of the solar disk from 1997 January until 2006 December are utilized. Data from the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) instrument on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory operating in the high resolution mode, the Big Bear Solar Observatory digital magnetograph, and the Hinode SOT/SP instrument were used. Intermittency spectra were derived from high-order structure functions and flatness functions. The flatness function exponent is a measure of the degree of intermittency. We found that the flatness function exponent at scales below approximately 10 Mm is correlated with flare productivity (the correlation coefficient is -0.63). The Hinode data show that the intermittency regime is extended toward small scales (below 2 Mm) as compared to the MDI data. The spectra of multifractality, derived from the structure functions and flatness functions, are found to be broader for ARs of higher flare productivity as compared to those of low flare productivity. The magnetic structure of high-flaring ARs consists of a voluminous set of monofractals, and this set is much richer than that for low-flaring ARs. The results indicate the relevance of the multifractal organization of the photospheric magnetic fields to the flaring activity. The strong intermittency observed in complex and high-flaring ARs is a hint that we observe a photospheric imprint of enhanced sub-photospheric dynamics.
[en] We estimated photospheric velocities by separately applying the Fourier Local Correlation Tracking and Differential Affine Velocity Estimator methods to 2708 co-registered pairs of SOHO/MDI magnetograms, with nominal 96 minute cadence and ∼2'' pixels, from 46 active regions (ARs) from 1996 to 1998 over the time interval τ45 when each AR was within 450 of disk center. For each magnetogram pair, we computed the reprojected, average estimated radial magnetic field, B-tildeR; and each tracking method produced an independently estimated flow field, u. We then quantitatively characterized these magnetic and flow fields by computing several extensive and intensive properties of each; extensive properties scale with AR size, while intensive properties do not depend directly on AR size. Intensive flow properties included moments of speeds, horizontal divergences, and radial curls; extensive flow properties included sums of these properties over each AR, and a crude proxy for the ideal Poynting flux, SR=Σ|u|B-tildeR2. Several quantities derived from B-tildeR were also computed, including: Φ, the total unsigned flux; R, a measure of the unsigned flux near strong-field polarity inversion lines; and ΣB-tildeR2. Next, using correlation and discriminant analysis, we investigated the associations between these properties and flares from the GOES flare catalog, when averaged over both τ45 and shorter time windows of 6 and 24 hr. Our AR sample included both flaring and flare-quiet ARs; the latter did not flare above GOES C1.0 level during τ45. Among magnetic properties, we found R to be most strongly associated with flare flux. Among extensive flow properties, the proxy Poynting flux, SR , was most strongly associated with flare flux, at a level comparable to that of R. All intensive flow properties studied were more poorly associated with flare flux than these extensive properties. Past flare activity was also associated with future flare occurrence. The largest coefficients of determination from correlations with flare flux that we performed are ∼0.25, implying no single variable that we considered can explain the majority of variability in average flare flux.
[en] A number of suggestive coincidences are found in a purely speculative analogy between the by-products of a minihole fast evaporation in a plasma, and by-products from flares at magnetospheres. Solar flares might serve as good examples. From an observational point of view attention is drawn to the considerable extent of the 'blank' time interval existing between known 'before' and 'after' evidences on flares, during which some exotic energy conversion processes could be invoked to explain the large amount of energy released in time-scales that might be very short. It is suggested that fundamental progress in the knowledge of energy conversion processes in flares require observational data with a time resolution several orders of magnitude better than the currently availble data, particularly for hard X-rays. (Auth.)
[en] Problems of laboratory experimental study of the processes of the solar flare type are discussed. Some dimensionless parameters that are typical of laboratory experiments, of solar flares and of flanes on red small-mass stars are calculated. It is shown that in the frame of principles of limited simulation some of laboratory experiments are adequate to the processes in the cosmic plasma