Reproducing Type II White-Light Solar Flare Observations with Electron and Proton Beam Simulations

Aaron Reid, Ryan O. Milligan, Ondrej Procházka, Paulo J. A. Simoes, Joel C. Allred, Michail Mathioudakis

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We investigate the cause of the suppressed Balmer series and the origin of the white-light continuum emission in the X1.0 class solar flare on 2014 June 11. We use radiative hydrodynamic simulations to model the response of the flaring atmosphere to both electron and proton beams, which are energetically constrained using Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager and Fermi observations. A comparison of synthetic spectra with the observations allows us to narrow the range of beam fluxes and low energy cutoff that may be applicable to this event. We conclude that the electron and proton beams that can reproduce the observed spectral features are those that have relatively low fluxes and high values for the low energy cutoff. While electron beams shift the upper chromosphere and transition region to greater geometrical heights, proton beams with a similar flux leave these areas of the atmosphere relatively undisturbed. It is easier for proton beams to penetrate to the deeper layers and not deposit their energy in the upper chromosphere where the Balmer lines are formed. The relatively weak particle beams that are applicable to this flare do not cause a significant shift of the τ = 1 surface and the observed excess WL emission is optically thin.
Original languageEnglish
Article number76
Number of pages12
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number76
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2018


  • astro-ph.SR


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