Hα and Hβ Emission in a C3.3 Solar Flare: Comparison between Observations and Simulations

Vincenzo Capparelli, Francesca Zuccarello, Paolo Romano, Paulo J. A. Simões, Lyndsay Fletcher, David Kuridze, Mihalis Mathioudakis, Peter H. Keys, Gianna Cauzzi, Mats Carlsson

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Abstract

The hydrogen Balmer series is a basic radiative loss channel from the flaring solar chromosphere. We report here on the analysis of an extremely rare set of simultaneous observations of a solar flare in the ${\rm{H}}\alpha $ and ${\rm{H}}\beta $ lines, at high spatial and temporal resolutions, that were acquired at the Dunn Solar Telescope. Images of the C3.3 flare (SOL2014-04-22T15:22) made at various wavelengths along the ${\rm{H}}\alpha $ line profile by the Interferometric Bidimensional Spectrometer (IBIS) and in the ${\rm{H}}\beta $ with the Rapid Oscillations in the Solar Atmosphere (ROSA) broadband imager are analyzed to obtain the intensity evolution. The ${\rm{H}}\alpha $ and ${\rm{H}}\beta $ intensity excesses in three identified flare footpoints are well-correlated in time. We examine the ratio of ${\rm{H}}\alpha $ to ${\rm{H}}\beta $ flare excess, which was proposed by previous authors as a possible diagnostic of the level of electron-beam energy input. In the stronger footpoints, the typical value of the the ${\rm{H}}\alpha $/H $\beta $ intensity ratio observed is ~0.4–0.5, in broad agreement with values obtained from a RADYN non-LTE simulation driven by an electron beam with parameters constrained (as far as possible) by observation. The weaker footpoint has a larger ${\rm{H}}\alpha $/H $\beta $ ratio, again consistent with a RADYN simulation, but with a smaller energy flux. The ${\rm{H}}\alpha $ line profiles observed have a less prominent central reversal than is predicted by the RADYN results, but can be brought into agreement if the ${\rm{H}}\alpha $-emitting material has a filling factor of around 0.2–0.3.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume850
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • sun: activity
  • sun: chromosphere
  • sun: flares
  • sun: photosphere
  • techniques: high angular resolution

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