TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 53 (No. 6), pp. 577-580, 2001

Downflows and structure above LDE arcades: Possible signatures of reconnection?

D. E. McKenzie1 and H. S. Hudson2

1Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, U.S.A.
2Solar Physics Research Corporation, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

(Received May 11, 2000; Revised September 12, 2000; Accepted October 5, 2000)

Abstract: We will introduce a set of observations made during the decay phase of long duration event (LDE) flares on the Sun. In a number of events, the soft X-ray images from Yohkoh SXT indicate a downward directed flow field in the region immediately above the flare arcade. These are tentatively identified as evidence of reconnection outflows. The prototypical event is the M5 flare of 20 January 1999, presented by McKenzie and Hudson (1999); since the time that paper was completed, sixteen more events have been found in the interval April 1998 to February 2000. As in the 20 January event, the speeds of downflow are 35-500 km s-1, lower than both the freefall speed and the typically assumed Alfvén speed. The motion is evidenced by both dark and bright (i.e., X-ray emitting) features, some of which may have a looplike morphology; no cool counterparts have been detected in Ha or EUV observations. Movies depicting some of the LDE downflows were presented at this meeting; these also appear in the journal Solar Physics (McKenzie, 2000), since they cannot be presented in these Proceedings.

Corresponding author E-mail: mckenzie@mithra.physics.montana.edu

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