Author(s): , ,
Institution(s): 1. NWRA
Knowledge of the state of the solar photospheric magnetic field at a single instant in time does not appear sufficient to predict the size and timing of impending solar flares. Such knowledge may provide necessary conditions, such as the free magnetic energy needed for a flare to occur. Given the necessary conditions, it is often assumed that the evolution of the field, possibly by only a small amount, may trigger the onset of a flare. We present the results of a study using time series of photospheric vector field data from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) on NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to quantitatively parameterize both the state and evolution of solar active regions - their complexity, magnetic topology and energy - as related to solar flare events. We examine both extensive and intensive parameters and their temporal behavior, in the context of both large and small flaring episodes. Statistical tests based on nonparametric Discriminant Analysis are used to compare pre-flare epochs to a control group of flare-quiet epochs and active regions. Results regarding the type of photospheric signature examined and the efficacy of using the present state vs. temporal evolution to predict solar flares is quantified by standard skill scores.
This work is made possible by contracts NASA NNH12CG10C and NOAA/SBIR WC-133R-13-CN-0079.