The Emission Measure Distribution of Impulsive Phase Flare Footpoints

D. R. Graham, I. G. Hannah, L. Fletcher, R. O. Milligan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The temperature distribution of the emitting plasma is a crucial constraint when studying the heating of solar flare footpoints. However, determining this for impulsive phase footpoints has been difficult in the past due to insufficient spatial resolution to resolve the footpoints from the loop structures, and a lack of spectral and temporal coverage. We use the capabilities of Hinode/Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer to obtain the first emission measure distributions (EMDs) from impulsive phase footpoints in six flares. Observations with good spectral coverage were analyzed using a regularized inversion method to recover the EMDs. We find that the EMDs all share a peak temperature of around 8 MK, with lines formed around this temperature having emission measures (EMs) peaking between 1028 and 1029 cm-5, indicating a substantial presence of plasma at very high temperatures within the footpoints. An EMD gradient of EM(T) ~ T is found in all events. Previous theoretical work on EM gradients shows this to be consistent with a scenario in which the deposited flare energy directly heats only the top layer of the flare chromosphere, while deeper layers are heated by conduction....
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages9
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Cite this