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The Statistical Relationship between White-light Emission and Photospheric Magnetic Field Changes in Flares

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Castellanos Durán,  Juan Sebastian
Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS for Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Castellanos Durán, J. S., & Kleint, L. (2020). The Statistical Relationship between White-light Emission and Photospheric Magnetic Field Changes in Flares. The Astrophysical Journal, 904(2): 96. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab9c1e.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-A7F2-B
Abstract
Continuum emission, also called white-light emission (WLE), and permanent changes of the magnetic field (Delta B-LOS) are often observed during solar flares. However, their relation and precise mechanisms are still unknown. We study statistically the relationship between Delta B-LOS and WLE during 75 solar flares of different strengths and locations on the solar disk. We analyze SDO/HMI data and determine for each pixel in each flare if it exhibited WLE and/or Delta B-LOS. We then investigate the occurrence, strength, and spatial size of the WLE, its dependence on flare energy, and its correlation to the occurrence of Delta B-LOS. We detected WLE in 44/75 flares and Delta B-LOS in 59/75 flares. We find that WLE and Delta B-LOS are related, and their locations often overlap between 0% and 60%. Not all locations coincide, thus potentially indicating differences in their origin. We find that the WL area is related to the flare class by a power law, and extend the findings of previous studies, that the WLE is related to the flare class by a power law, to also be valid for C-class flares. To compare unresolved (Sun-as-a-star) WL measurements with our data, we derive a method to calculate temperatures and areas of such data under the blackbody assumption. The calculated unresolved WLE areas improve, but still differ to the resolved flaring area by about a factor of 5-10 (previously 10-20), which could be explained by various physical or instrumental causes. This method could also be applied to stellar flares to determine their temperatures and areas independently.