Electron acceleration associated with solar jets

Säm Krucker, E. P. Kontar, S. Christe, L. Glesener, R. P. Lin

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This paper investigates the solar source region of supra-thermal (fewkeV up to the MeV range) electron beams observed near Earth by combining in situ measurements of the three-dimensional Plasma and Energetic Particles experiment on the WIND spacecraft with remote-sensing hard X-ray observations by the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager. The in situ observations are used to identify events, and the hard X-ray observations are then searched for signatures of supra-thermal electrons radiating bremsstrahlung emission in the solar atmosphere. Only prompt events detected above 50keV with a close temporal correlation between the flare hard X-ray emission and the electrons seen near Earth are selected, limiting the number of events to 16. We show that for 7 of these 16 events, hard X-ray imaging shows three chromospheric sources: two at the footpoints of the post-flare loop and one related to an apparently open field line. The remaining events show two footpoints (seven events, four of which show elongated sources possibly hiding a third source) or are spatially unresolved (two events). Out of the 16 events, 6 have a solar source region within the field of view of the Transition Region and Corona Explorer (TRACE). All events with TRACE data show EUV jets that have the same onset as the hard X-ray emission (within the cadence of tens of seconds). After the hard X-ray burst ends, the jets decay. These results suggest that escaping prompt supra-thermal electron events observed near Earth are accelerated in flares associated with reconnection between open and closed magnetic field lines, the so-called interchange reconnection scenario.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number82
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Sun: X-rays, gamma rays
  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: particle emission


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