Solar Flare Model

Solar Flare Model

. A solar flare is powered by magnetic energy released from a magnetic interaction site above the top of the loop shown here. Electrons are accelerated to high speed, generating a burst of radio energy as well as impulsive loop-top hard X-ray emission. Some of these non-thermal electrons are channeled down the loop and strike the chromosphere at nearly the speed of light, emitting hard X-rays by electron-ion bremsstrahlung at the loop footpoints. When beams of accelerated protons enter the dense, lower atmosphere, they cause nuclear reactions that result in gamma-ray spectral lines and energetic neutrons. Material in the chromosphere is heated very quickly and rises into the loop, accompanied by a slow, gradual increase in soft X-ray radiation. This upwelling of heated material is called chromospheric evaporation.

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University