AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 29. Eruptive Flares/CMEs
Oral, Monday, June 3, 2002, 2:00-3:30pm, Mesilla

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[29.09] Distribution of Flare Energies Based On Independent Reconnecting Structures

M.S. Wheatland (University of Sydney)

An explanation for the observed frequency distribution of flare energies is given, based on independent flaring at a number of distinct topological structures (separators) within active region magnetic fields. The approach modifies and generalises a recent model due to Craig (2001), and reconciles that model with the observed flare waiting-time distribution, and the observed absence of a flare waiting-time vs. energy relationship. The basic assumptions of the model are that flares of energy E\propto l2 occur at separators of length l, and that the frequency of flaring at a separator is defined by the Alfvén transit time of the structure. To reproduce the observed distribution of flare energies the model requires a probability distribution P(l)\propto l-1 of separator lengths l within active regions. This prediction of the model is in principle testable. A theoretical origin for this distribution is also discussed.

The author acknowledges the support of an Australian Research Council QEII Fellowship.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.