S320.8.03 — White-light continuum emission from solar flare and plages: observations and modeling

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Aug 13th at 9:10 AM until 9:30 AM

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Author(s): Arkadiusz Berlicki2, Arun Kumar Awasthi2, Petr Heinzel1

Institution(s): 1. Astronomical Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, 2. Astronomical Institute, University of Wroclaw

Observations of flares in optical continuum emission are very rare. Therefore, the analysis of such observations is very useful and may contribute to our understanding of the flaring chromosphere. We study the white-light continuum emission observed during the X6.9 flare observed on August 09, 2011. This emission comes not only from the flare ribbons but also form the nearby plage area observed within the active region. The main aim of this work is to disentangle the flare and plage emission and to understand the physical mechanisms responsible for the production of white-light continuum.
There are two main mechanisms which can be responsible for the optical continuum emission of the solar atmosphere: enhanced photospheric H- continuum due to the temperature increase below the temperature minimum region, or hydrogen recombination continua (Balmer, Paschen) formed in solar chromosphere. In our work we analyse the physical conditions in solar active atmosphere in order to obtain the contribution from these two mechanisms to the whole continuum emission of the flare and plage.
We analyzed the spatial, spectral and temporal evolution study of the flare and plage parameters by analyzing multi-wavelength observations obtained from ground and space based solar observatories. We study the morphological correlation of the white-light continuum emission observed with different instruments. Moreover, we also explore the non-thermal electron beam properties by forward fitting the observed X-ray spectra.
The unique opportunity of an intense X6.9 flare occurrence close to the limb enabled us to explore the origin of white-light continuum with better visibility. The analysis of multi-wavelength data revealed the origin of this emission from the foot-points of the loops. Spatial association of HXR foot-points synthesized from RHESSI observations confirmed this finding. In addition, we found a good temporal correlation of hard (>30 keV) X-ray with the white-light emission. However, some active region areas which produce the continuum emission correspond rather to plages than to the flare kernels.