Constraining hot plasma in a non-flaring solar active region with FOXSI hard X-ray observations

Shin Nosuke Ishikawa, Lindsay Glesener, Steven Christe, Kazunori Ishibashi, David H. Brooks, David R. Williams, Masumi Shimojo, Nobuharu Sako, Säm Krucker

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31 Scopus citations


We present new constraints on the high-temperature emission measure of a non-flaring solar active region using observations from the recently flown Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI) sounding rocket payload. FOXSI has performed the first focused hard X-ray (HXR) observation of the Sun in its first successful flight on 2012 November 2. Focusing optics, combined with small strip detectors, enable high-sensitivity observations with respect to previous indirect imagers. This capability, along with the sensitivity of the HXR regime to high-temperature emission, offers the potential to better characterize high-temperature plasma in the corona as predicted by nanoflare heating models. We present a joint analysis of the differential emission measure (DEM) of active region 11602 using coordinated observations by FOXSI, Hinode/XRT, and Hinode/EIS. The Hinode-derived DEM predicts significant emission measure between 1MK and 3MK, with a peak in the DEM predicted at 2.0-2.5MK. The combined XRT and EIS DEM also shows emission from a smaller population of plasma above 8MK. This is contradicted by FOXSI observations that significantly constrain emission above 8 MK. This suggests that the Hinode DEM analysis has larger uncertainties at higher temperatures and that >8MK plasma above an emission measure of 3 × 1044 cm-3 is excluded in this active region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberS15
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Japan
Issue numberSP1
StatePublished - Sep 30 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2014.


  • Sun: UV radiation
  • Sun: X-rays gamma rays
  • Sun: corona


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