Vol 16, No 2

Diagnostics from three rising submillimeter bursts

Ai-Hua Zhou, Jian-Ping Li, Xin-Dong Wang


Abstract In this paper we investigate three novel rising submillimeter (THz) bursts that occurred sequentially in Super Active Region NOAA 10486. The average rising rate of the flux density above 200 GHz is only 20 sfu GHz−1 (corresponding to spectral index α of 1.6) for the THz spectral components of the 2003 October 28 and November 4 bursts, but it attained values of 235 sfu GHz−1 (α = 4.8) in the 2003 November 2 burst. The steeply rising THz spectrum can be produced by a population of highly relativistic electrons with a low-energy cutoff of 1 MeV, but it only requires a low-energy cutoff of 30 keV for the two slowly rising THz bursts, via gyrosynchrotron (GS) radiation based on our numerical simulations of burst spectra in the magnetic dipole field case. The electron density variation is much larger in the THz source than in the microwave (MW) source. It is interesting that the THz source radius decreased by 20%–50% during the decay phase for the three events, but the MW source increased by 28% for the 2003 November 2 event. In the paper we will present a formula that can be used to calculate the energy released by ultrarelativistic electrons, taking the relativistic correction into account for the first time. We find that the energy released by energetic electrons in the THz source exceeds that in the MW source due to the strong GS radiation loss in the THz range, although the modeled THz source area is 3–4 orders smaller than the modeled MW source one. The total energies released by energetic electrons via the GS radiation in radio sources are estimated, respectively, to be 5.2 × 1033, 3.9 × 1033 and 3.7 × 1032 erg for the October 28, November 2 and 4 bursts, which are 131, 76 and 4 times as large as the thermal energies of 2.9 × 1031, 2.1 × 1031 and 5.2 × 1031 erg estimated from soft X-ray GOES observations.


Keywords Sun: submillimeter emission — Sun: energetic electrons — Sun: radio source environment

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