An investigation of Fe XV emission lines in solar flare spectra

Francis Keenan, Kanti Aggarwal, Shaun Bloomfield, A.Z. Msezane, K.G. Widing

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Previously, large discrepancies have been found between theory and observation for Fe XV emission line ratios in solar flare spectra covering the 224-327 angstrom wavelength range, obtained by the Naval Research Laboratory's S082A instrument on board Skylab. These discrepancies have been attributed to either errors in the adopted atomic data or the presence of additional atomic processes not included in the modelling, such as fluorescence. However our analysis of these plus other S082A flare observations (the latter containing Fe XV transitions between 321-482 angstrom), performed using the most recent Fe XV atomic physics calculations in conjunction with a chianti synthetic flare spectrum, indicate that blending of the lines is primarily responsible for the discrepancies. As a result, most Fe XV lines cannot be employed as electron density diagnostics for solar flares, at least at the spectral resolution of S082A and similar instruments (i.e.similar to 0.1 angstrom). An exception is the intensity ratio I(3s3p P-3(2)-3p(2) P-3(1))/I(3s3p P-3(2)-3p(2) D-1(2))=I(321.8 angstrom)/I(327.0 angstrom), which appears to provide good estimates of the electron density at this spectral resolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1208
Number of pages6
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science


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