AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 88. Our Favorite Star
Display, Wednesday, January 9, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[88.08] Solar Explosive Events: Nanoflares and Their Potential to Heat the Solar Corona

A. Updike (Smith College/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), A. Winebarger, K. Reeves (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

The question of how the solar corona is heated is one of the more interesting aspects of solar physics. One theory is that small reconnective events (nanoflares) are responsible for coronal heating, but it has not yet been demonstrated that such small events heat plasma to cornal temperatures. To address this issue, we used active region observations from SUMER to locate 1724 explosive events in the C IV line (1548 Å) and 274 explosive events in the Ne VIII line (1540 Å). We calculate the global birthrate of 2108 events s-1 in the C IV line, and 335 events s-1 in the Ne VIII line. We locate the event regions in TRACE 171 Å\ images of the corona, and look for a coronal response to the explosive events. Comparing fluctuations in TRACE light curve data above event and non-event areas, we find statistically significant fluctuations in the TRACE light curves above %51\ of the events. This could imply that explosive event plamsa is heated to coronal temperatures, or that both pheonoma are separate byproducts of the reconnection process.

Funded by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Summer REU program (AST-973192).

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