Vol 9, No 7 (2009) / Zhao

Flare-induced signals in polarization measurements during the X2.6 flare on 2005 January 15

Meng Zhao, Jing-Xiu Wang, Sarah Matthews, Ming-De Ding, Hui Zhao, Chun-Lan Jin

Abstract

Flare-induced signals in polarization measurements which were manifested as apparent polarity reversal in magnetograms have been reported since 1981. We are motivated to further quantify the phenomenon by asking two questions: can we distinguish the flare-induced signals from real magnetic changes during flares, and what we can learn about flare energy release from the flare-induced signals? We select the X2.6 flare that occurred on 2005 January 15, for further study. The flare took place in NOAA active region (AR) 10720 at approximately the central meridian, which makes the interpretation of the vector magnetograms less ambiguous.We have identified that flare-induced signals during this flare appeared in six zones. The zones are located within an average distance of 5Mm from their weight center to the main magnetic neutral line, have an average size of (0.6±0.4)×1017 cm2, duration of 13±4 min, and flux density change of 181±125G in the area of reversed polarity. The following new facts have been revealed by this study: (1) the flare-induced signal is also seen in the transverse magnetograms but with smaller magnitude, e.g., about 50 G; (2) the flare-induced signal mainly manifests itself as apparent polarity reversal, but the signal starts and ends as a weakening of flux density; (3) The flare-induced signals appear in phase with the peaks of hard X-ray emission as observed by the Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI), and mostly trace the position of RHESSI hard X-ray footpoint sources. (4) in four zones, it takes place cotemporally with real magnetic changes which persist after the flare. Only for the other two zones does the flux density recover to the pre-flare level immediately after the flare. The physical implications of the flare-induced signal are discussed in view of its relevance to the non-thermal electron precipitation and primary energy release in the flare.

Keywords


Sun: magnetic field— Sun: flare —Sun: activity

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