Context. The energy release in eruptive flares and the kinematics of the associated coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are interlinked and require favorable observing positions as both on-disk and off-limb signatures are necessary to characterize these events.
Aims: We combine observations from different vantage points to perform a detailed study of a long duration eruptive C7 class flare that occurred on 17 April 2021 and was partially occulted from Earth view. The dynamics and thermal properties of the flare-related plasma flows, the flaring arcade, and the energy releases and particle acceleration are studied together with the kinematic evolution of the associated CME in order to place this long duration event in context of previous eruptive flare studies.
Methods: We use data from the Spectrometer-Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) onboard the Solar Orbiter to analyze the spectral characteristics, timing, and spatial distribution of the flare X-ray emission. Data from the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUVI) onboard the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory-Ahead (STEREO-A) spacecraft are used for context images as well as to track the ejected plasma close to the Sun. With Atmospheric Imaging Assembly extreme ultraviolet (EUV) images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the flare is observed off-limb and differential emission measure maps are reconstructed. The coronagraphs onboard STEREO-A are used to track the CME out to around 8 R⊙.
Results: The flare showed hard X-ray (HXR) bursts over the duration of an hour in two phases lasting from 16:04 UT to 17:05 UT. During the first phase, a strong increase in emission from hot plasma and impulsive acceleration of the CME was observed. The CME acceleration profile shows a three-part evolution of slow rise, acceleration, and propagation in line with the first STIX HXR burst phase, which is triggered by a rising hot (14 MK) plasmoid. During the CME acceleration phase, we find signatures of ongoing magnetic reconnection behind the erupting structure, in agreement with the standard eruptive flare scenario. The subsequent HXR bursts that occur about 30 min after the primary CME acceleration show a spectral hardening (from δ ≈ 7 to δ ≈ 4) but do not correspond to further CME acceleration and chromospheric evaporation. Therefore, the CME-flare feedback relationship may only be of significance within the first 25 min. of the event under study, as thereafter the flare and the CME eruption evolve independently of each other.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- April 2023
- Sun: corona;
- Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs);
- Sun: flares;
- Sun: X-rays;
- gamma rays;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics