Turbulent Kinetic Energy in the Energy Balance of a Solar Flare

Kontar, E. P., Perez, J. E., Harra, L. K., Kuznetsov, A. A., Emslie, A. G., Jeffrey, Natasha, Bian, N. H. and Dennis, B. R. (2017) Turbulent Kinetic Energy in the Energy Balance of a Solar Flare. Physical Review Letters, 118 (15). p. 155101. ISSN 0031-9007

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The energy released in solar flares derives from a reconfiguration of magnetic fields to a lower energy state, and is manifested in several forms, including bulk kinetic energy of the coronal mass ejection, acceleration of electrons and ions, and enhanced thermal energy that is ultimately radiated away across the electromagnetic spectrum from optical to x rays. Using an unprecedented set of coordinated observations, from a suite of instruments, we here report on a hitherto largely overlooked energy component - the kinetic energy associated with small-scale turbulent mass motions. We show that the spatial location of, and timing of the peak in, turbulent kinetic energy together provide persuasive evidence that turbulent energy may play a key role in the transfer of energy in solar flares. Although the kinetic energy of turbulent motions accounts, at any given time, for only ∼(0.5-1)% of the energy released, its relatively rapid (∼1-10 s) energization and dissipation causes the associated throughput of energy (i.e., power) to rival that of major components of the released energy in solar flares, and thus presumably in other astrophysical acceleration sites.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F300 Physics
F500 Astronomy
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2019 12:14
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 10:34
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/40584

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