AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 22. Solar Flares
Oral, Monday, May 31, 1999, 10:00-11:30am, Continental Ballroom B

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[22.04] Magnetic Trapping of Flare Electrons and Microwave Emission

J. Lee, D.E. Gary (NJIT)

The topic of trapping of flare-produced electrons in magnetic loops and their evolution under Coulomb collision has received considerable attention in relation to interpreting hard X ray observations, since the first work by Melrose and Brown in 1976. However, application of the idea to the study of microwave radiation has been more limited. Petrosian in 1982 illustrated how the magnetic field affects the trapping and beaming of electrons to predict spatial morphology of microwave emission given magnetic structure and location of a flaring loop. Mel'nikov in 1994 used a model for trap and precipitation to study relative intensities and time delays between microwaves and hard X rays. We present a detailed modeling of microwave emission from electrons undergoing Coulomb interaction in magnetic traps, designed for quantitative analysis of spatially-resolved, multiwavelength microwave observations such as those of the Solar Arrays at Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO). Our main concern is to properly relate the precipitation rate and pitch angle diffusion to magnetic quantities of the flaring loop and injection parameters. In this approach, we use coronal field extrapolation and overlays of soft X ray loops to provide the magnetic quantities so that the microwave spectrum can be used mainly as the electron diagnostic. We discuss the model capabilities and apply the results to a flare that occurred in AR 7515 on 1993 June 3. This flare showed spectral flattening in the decay phase along with morphological variation suggestive of a magnetic trap around the loop top, and the spectral flattening is interpreted as driven by Coulomb collision in the magnetic trap.

The OVRO Solar Array is supported through NSF grants AST-9796238 and ATM-9796213, and NASA grant NAG5-6831 to New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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