Energy of microwave-emitting electrons and hard X-ray/microwave source model in solar flares

Research paper by Nariaki Nitta, Takeo Kosugi

Indexed on: 01 May '86Published on: 01 May '86Published in: Solar Physics


The observed energy of X-rays which vary in proportion to the 17 GHz emission concentrates mostly below 100 keV with a median energy of 70 keV. Since the mean energy of electrons emitting 70 keV X-rays is ≲130 keV or ≲180 keV, depending on the assumed hard X-ray emission model (thin-target and thick-target, respectively), this photon energy strongly suggests that the 17 GHz emission comes mostly from electrons with an energy of less than a few hundred keV.Correspondingly, the magnetic field strength in the microwave source is calculated to be 500–1000 G for the thick-target case and 1000–2000 G for the thin-target case. Finally, judging from the values of the source parameters required for the observed microwave fluxes, we conclude that the thick-target model in which precipitating electrons give rise to both X-rays and microwaves is consistent with the observations for at least 16 out of 22 flares examined.