A critical examination of the fundamental assumptions of solar flare and coronal mass ejection models

D.S. Spicer, R. Bingham, R. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The fundamental assumptions of conventional solar flare and coronal mass ejection (CME) theory are re-examined. In particular, the common theoretical assumption that magnetic energy that drives flares and CMEs can be stored in situ in the corona with sufficient energy density is found wanting. In addition, the observational constraint that flares and CMEs produce non-thermal electrons with fluxes of order 10(34)-10(36) electrons s(-1), with energies of order 10-20 keV, must also be explained. This constraint when imposed on the "standard model" for flares and CMEs is found to miss the mark by many orders of magnitude. We suggest, in conclusion, there are really only two possible ways to explain the requirements of observations and theory: flares and CMEs are caused by mass-loaded prominences or driven directly by emerging magnetized flux.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume768
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2013

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coronal mass ejection
solar flares
flares
examination
energy
electron
corona
coronas
emerging
electrons
flux density
requirements

Keywords

  • acceleration of particles
  • coronal mass ejections
  • sun flares
  • gamma rays
  • particle-acceleration
  • energy release
  • fields
  • magnetosphere
  • dissipation
  • ionosphere
  • emission
  • bursts

Cite this

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abstract = "The fundamental assumptions of conventional solar flare and coronal mass ejection (CME) theory are re-examined. In particular, the common theoretical assumption that magnetic energy that drives flares and CMEs can be stored in situ in the corona with sufficient energy density is found wanting. In addition, the observational constraint that flares and CMEs produce non-thermal electrons with fluxes of order 10(34)-10(36) electrons s(-1), with energies of order 10-20 keV, must also be explained. This constraint when imposed on the {"}standard model{"} for flares and CMEs is found to miss the mark by many orders of magnitude. We suggest, in conclusion, there are really only two possible ways to explain the requirements of observations and theory: flares and CMEs are caused by mass-loaded prominences or driven directly by emerging magnetized flux.",
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A critical examination of the fundamental assumptions of solar flare and coronal mass ejection models. / Spicer, D.S.; Bingham, R.; Harrison, R.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 768, No. 1, 8, 09.04.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - A critical examination of the fundamental assumptions of solar flare and coronal mass ejection models

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AU - Bingham, R.

AU - Harrison, R.

PY - 2013/4/9

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N2 - The fundamental assumptions of conventional solar flare and coronal mass ejection (CME) theory are re-examined. In particular, the common theoretical assumption that magnetic energy that drives flares and CMEs can be stored in situ in the corona with sufficient energy density is found wanting. In addition, the observational constraint that flares and CMEs produce non-thermal electrons with fluxes of order 10(34)-10(36) electrons s(-1), with energies of order 10-20 keV, must also be explained. This constraint when imposed on the "standard model" for flares and CMEs is found to miss the mark by many orders of magnitude. We suggest, in conclusion, there are really only two possible ways to explain the requirements of observations and theory: flares and CMEs are caused by mass-loaded prominences or driven directly by emerging magnetized flux.

AB - The fundamental assumptions of conventional solar flare and coronal mass ejection (CME) theory are re-examined. In particular, the common theoretical assumption that magnetic energy that drives flares and CMEs can be stored in situ in the corona with sufficient energy density is found wanting. In addition, the observational constraint that flares and CMEs produce non-thermal electrons with fluxes of order 10(34)-10(36) electrons s(-1), with energies of order 10-20 keV, must also be explained. This constraint when imposed on the "standard model" for flares and CMEs is found to miss the mark by many orders of magnitude. We suggest, in conclusion, there are really only two possible ways to explain the requirements of observations and theory: flares and CMEs are caused by mass-loaded prominences or driven directly by emerging magnetized flux.

KW - acceleration of particles

KW - coronal mass ejections

KW - sun flares

KW - gamma rays

KW - particle-acceleration

KW - energy release

KW - fields

KW - magnetosphere

KW - dissipation

KW - ionosphere

KW - emission

KW - bursts

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