Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 444, 593-603 (2005/12-3)
Optical and EUV observations of solar flare kernels.
GARCIA-ALVAREZ D., JOHNS-KRULL C.M., DOYLE J.G., UGARTE-URRA I., MADJARSKA M.S. and BUTLER C.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present high-resolution spectral observations, covering the entire optical region (3800-9000Å), of a solar flare observed during a multi-wavelength campaign. The flare, recorded on 2002 January 11, was a medium solar flare event (GOES class C7.5). The spectral observations were carried out using the Hamilton echelle spectrograph on the coude auxiliary telescope at Lick Observatory and with the Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer (CDS) on board SoHO. The high signal-to-noise optical spectra are analysed using the same techniques as we applied to stellar flare data. Hα images obtained at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), plus magnetograms obtained with the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) on board SoHO and Transition Region And Coronal Explorer (TRACE) 1600Å were used in the flare analysis. We observe stellar-like behaviour in the main solar chromospheric activity indicators, which show either filling-in or emission during the flare. We find that the Balmer and CaII lines show asymmetric profiles, with red-shifted wings and blue-shifted cores. This behaviour could be explained by material expanding. During the flare, the Mg I and Fe I lines show a filling-in of the line profile indicating that the flare affected the lower atmosphere. There is some evidence for pre-flare heating as seen in Fe XIX 592Å. Furthermore, O V 629Å shows an increase in flux some 10-min. before the coronal lines, perhaps indicating particle beam heating in the initial stages of the flare. We have also determined the main physical parameters at flare maximum. The electron densities and electron temperatures found for the flare imply that the Balmer emitting plasma originates in the chromosphere. The physical parameters obtained for the modelled flare are consistent with previously derived values for solar flares.