Relaxation of magnetic field relative to plasma density revealed from microwave zebra patterns associated with solar flares

Sijie Yu, Yihua Yan, Baolin Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is generally considered that the emission of microwave zebra pattern (ZP) structures requires high density and high temperature, which is similar to the situation of the flaring region where primary energy is released. Therefore, a parameter analysis of ZPs may reveal the physical conditions of the flaring source region. This work investigates the variations of 74 microwave ZP structures observed by the Chinese Solar Broadband Radio Spectrometer (SBRS/Huairou) at 2.6-3.8 GHz in nine solar flares, and we find that the ratio between the plasma density scale height LNand the magnetic field scale height LBin emission sources displays a tendency to decrease during the flaring processes. The ratio LN/LBis about 3-5 before the maximum of flares. It decreases to about 2 after the maximum. The detailed analysis of three typical X-class flares implies that the variation of LN/LBduring the flaring process is most likely due to topological changes of the magnetic field in the flaring source region, and the stepwise decrease of LN/LBpossibly reflects the magnetic field relaxation relative to the plasma density when the flaring energy is released. This result may also constrain solar flare modeling to some extent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number136
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume761
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 10 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: magnetic topology
  • Sun: radio radiation

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