34th Solar Physics Division Meeting, June 2003
Session 22 RHESSI Results III
Oral, Thursday, June 19, 2003, 9:00-10:30am, Auditorium

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[22.04] Energy estimates for solar flares using RHESSI and GOES SXI

A. Caspi (Space Sciences Lab & Dept. of Physics, UC Berkeley), S. Krucker (Space Sciences Lab, UC Berkeley), R. P. Lin (Space Sciences Lab & Dept. of Physics, UC Berkeley)

We examine energy release and transport in a variety of midsize-to-large flares (GOES X-ray class C5 and above) using the Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) and the GOES Solar X-ray Imager (SXI). Previous observations suggest that high-energy electrons accelerated during the flare lose their energy primarily through Coulomb collisions with the solar atmosphere, heating it to produce the soft X-ray emitting plasma. This results in the so-called Neupert effect, where the soft X-ray time profile corresponds to the time-integrated hard X-ray profile from non-thermal bremsstrahlung of the electrons. RHESSI can, for the first time, obtain both images and spectra over the full range of 3 keV to 17 MeV with excellent resolution spatially, temporally, and energetically.

We calculate the thermal energy vs. time for each flare by using temperature and emission measure values derived from GOES data, using SXI images to estimate source volumes. Using RHESSI imaging and spectroscopic data, we calculate the energies in non-thermal energetic electrons and in thermal plasmas at temperatures above the peak response of SXI/GOES. We compare the RHESSI- and SXI-obtained energies and discuss the implications for energy release and transport in flares by energetic electrons.


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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: cepheid@ssl.berkeley.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #3
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