Abstract.A statistical analysis of almost 50 000 soft X-ray (SXR) flares observed by GOES during the period 1976-2000 is presented. On the basis of this extensive data set, statistics on temporal properties of soft X-ray flares, such as duration, rise and decay times with regard to the SXR flare classes is presented. Correlations among distinct flare parameters, i.e. SXR peak flux, fluence and characteristic times, and frequency distributions of flare occurrence as function of the peak flux, the fluence and the duration are derived. We discuss the results of the analysis with respect to statistical flare models, the idea of coronal heating by nanoflares, and elaborate on implications of the obtained results on the Neupert effect in solar flares.
Abstract.A statistical analysis of a large data set of Hα flares comprising almost 100 000 single events that occurred during the period January 1975 to December 1999 is presented. We analyzed the flares evolution steps, i.e. duration, rise times, decay times and event asymmetries. Moreover, these parameters characterizing the temporal behavior of flares, as well as the spatial distribution on the solar disk, i.e. N-S and E-W asymmetries, are analyzed in terms of their dependency on the solar cycle. The main results are: 1) The duration, rise and decay times increase with increasing importance class. The increase is more pronounced for the decay times than for the rise times. The same relation is valid with regard to the brightness classes but in a weaker manner.2) The event asymmetry indices, which characterize the proportion of the decay to the rise time of an event, are predominantly positive (≈90%). For about 50% of the events the decay time is even more than 4 times as long as the rise time.3) The event asymmetries increase with the importance class. 4) The flare duration and decay times vary in phase with the solar cycle; the rise times do not. 5) The event asymmetries do not reveal a distinct correlation with the solar cycle. However, they drop during times of solar minima, which can be explained by the shorter decay times found during minimum activity. 6) There exists a significant N-S asymmetry over longer periods, and the dominance of one hemisphere over the other can persist for more than one cycle. 7) For certain cycles there may be evidence that the N-S asymmetry evolves with the solar cycle, but in general this is not the case. 8) There exists a slight but significant E-W asymmetry with a prolonged eastern excess.
Aims. Metis is the first solar coronagraph designed for a space mission and is capable of performing simultaneous imaging of the off-limb solar corona in both visible and UV light. The observations obtained with Metis aboard the Solar Orbiter ESA-NASA observatory will enable us to diagnose, with unprecedented temporal coverage and spatial resolution, the structures and dynamics of the full corona in a square field of view (FoV) of ±2.9 • in width, with an inner circular FoV at 1.6 • , thus spanning the solar atmosphere from 1.7 R to about 9 R , owing to the eccentricity of the spacecraft orbit. Due to the uniqueness of the Solar Orbiter mission profile, Metis will be able to observe the solar corona from a close (0.28 AU, at the closest perihelion) vantage point, achieving increasing out-of-ecliptic views with the increase of the orbit inclination over time. Moreover, observations near perihelion, during the phase of lower rotational velocity of the solar surface relative to the spacecraft, allow longer-term studies of the off-limb coronal features, thus finally disentangling their intrinsic evolution from effects due to solar rotation. Methods. Thanks to a novel occultation design and a combination of a UV interference coating of the mirrors and a spectral bandpass filter, Metis images the solar corona simultaneously in the visible light band, between 580 and 640 nm, and in the UV H i Lyman-α line at 121.6 nm. The visible light channel also includes a broadband polarimeter able to observe the linearly polarised component of the K corona. The coronal images in both the UV H i Lyman-α and polarised visible light are obtained at high spatial resolution with a spatial scale down to about 2000 km and 15000 km at perihelion, in the cases of the visible and UV light, respectively. A temporal resolution down to 1 second can be achieved when observing coronal fluctuations in visible light. Results. The Metis measurements, obtained from different latitudes, will allow for complete characterisation of the main physical parameters and dynamics of the electron and neutral hydrogen/proton plasma components of the corona in the region where the solar wind undergoes the acceleration process and where the onset and initial propagation of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) take place. The near-Sun multi-wavelength coronal imaging performed with Metis, combined with the unique opportunities offered by the Solar Orbiter mission, can effectively address crucial issues of solar physics such as: the origin and heating/acceleration of the fast and slow solar wind streams; the origin, acceleration, and transport of the solar energetic particles; and the transient ejection of coronal mass and its evolution in the inner heliosphere, thus significantly improving our understanding of the region connecting the Sun to the heliosphere and of the processes generating and driving the solar wind and coronal mass ejections. Conclusions. This paper presents the scientific objectives and requirements, the overall optical design of the Metis instrument, t...
Key drivers of solar weather and mid-term solar weather are reviewed by considering a selection of relevant physics-and statistics-based scientific models as well as a selection of related prediction models, in order to provide an updated operational scenario for space weather applications. The characteristics and outcomes of the considered scientific and prediction models indicate that they only partially cope with the complex nature of solar activity for the lack of a detailed knowledge of the underlying physics. This is indicated by the fact that, on one hand, scientific models based on chaos theory and non-linear dynamics reproduce better the observed features, and, on the other hand, that prediction models based on statistics and artificial neural networks perform better. To date, the solar weather prediction success at most time and spatial scales is far from being satisfactory, but the forthcoming ground-and space-based high-resolution observations can add fundamental tiles to the modelling and predicting frameworks as well as the application of advanced mathematical approaches in the analysis of diachronic solar observations, that are a must to provide comprehensive and homogeneous data sets.
Traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) are the ionospheric signatures of atmospheric gravity waves. Their identification and tracking is important because the TIDs affect all services that rely on predictable ionospheric radio wave propagation. Although various techniques have been proposed to measure TID characteristics, their real‐time implementation still has several difficulties. In this contribution, we present a new technique, based on the analysis of oblique Digisonde‐to‐Digisonde “skymap” observations, to directly identify TIDs and specify the TID wave parameters based on the measurement of angle of arrival, Doppler frequency, and time of flight of ionospherically reflected high‐frequency radio pulses. The technique has been implemented for the first time for the Network for TID Exploration project with data streaming from the network of European Digisonde DPS4D observatories. The performance is demonstrated during a period of moderate auroral activity, assessing its consistency with independent measurements such as data from auroral magnetometers and electron density perturbations from Digisondes and Global Navigation Satellite System stations. Given that the different types of measurements used for this assessment were not made at exactly the same time and location, and that there was insufficient coverage in the area between the atmospheric gravity wave sources and the measurement locations, we can only consider our interpretation as plausible and indicative for the reliability of the extracted TID characteristics. In the framework of the new TechTIDE project (European Commission H2020), a retrospective analysis of the Network for TID Exploration results in comparison with those extracted from Global Navigation Satellite System total electron content‐based methodologies is currently being attempted, and the results will be the objective of a follow‐up paper.
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