Spectral diagnostics of cool flare loops observed by SST

by Julius Koza

Hosted by Astronomical Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences on November 21, 2019


Flare loops form an integral part of eruptive events, being detected in the range of temperatures from X-rays down to cool chromospheric-like plasmas. While the hot loops are routinely observed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, cool loops seen off-limb are rare. In this paper we employ unique observations of the SOL2017-09-10T16:06 X8.2-class flare which produced an extended arcade of loops. The Swedish 1 m Solar Telescope made a series of spectral images of the cool off-limb loops in the Ca II 8542 Å and the hydrogen H-beta lines. Our focus is on the loop apices. Non-LTE spectral inversion (non-LTE; i.e., departures from LTE) is achieved through the construction of extended grids of models covering a realistic range of plasma parameters. The Multilevel Accelerated Lambda Iterations (MALI) code solves the non-LTE radiative-transfer problem in a 1D externally illuminated slab, approximating the studied loop segment. Inversion of the Ca II 8542 Å and H-beta lines yields two similar solutions, both indicating high electron densities around 2x10^12 cm^(-3) and relatively large microturbulence around 25 km/s. These are in reasonable agreement with other independent studies of the same or similar events. In particular, the high electron densities in the range 10^12 - 10^13 cm^(-3) are consistent with those derived from the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager white-light observations and they are also required to explain SST/CHROMIS continuum observations in the wide-band channel centered at 4845.5 Å.