Statistical Studies of Solar White-Light Flares and Comparisons with Superflares on Solar-type Stars

31 Oct 2017  ·  Namekata Kosuke, Sakaue Takahito, Watanabe Kyoko, Asai Ayumi, Maehara Hiroyuki, Notsu Yuta, Notsu Shota, Honda Satoshi, Ishii Takako, Ikuta Kai, Nogami Daisaku, Shibata Kazunari ·

Recently, many superflares on solar-type stars have been discovered as white-light flares (WLFs). The statistical study found a correlation between their energies ($E$) and durations ($\tau$): $\tau \propto E^{0.39}$ (Maehara et al. 2017 $EP\& S$, 67, 59), similar to those of solar hard/soft X-ray flares: $\tau \propto E^{0.2-0.33}$... This indicates a universal mechanism of energy release on solar and stellar flares, i.e., magnetic reconnection. We here carried out a statistical research on 50 solar WLFs observed with \textit{SDO}/HMI and examined the correlation between the energies and durations. As a result, the $E$--$\tau$ relation on solar WLFs ($\tau \propto E^{0.38}$) is quite similar to that on stellar superflares ($\tau \propto E^{0.39}$). However, the durations of stellar superflares are one order of magnitude shorter than those expected from solar WLFs. We present the following two interpretations for the discrepancy. (1) In solar flares, the cooling timescale of WLFs may be longer than the reconnection one, and the decay time of solar WLFs can be elongated by the cooling effect. (2) The distribution can be understood by applying a scaling law ($\tau \propto E^{1/3}B^{-5/3}$) derived from the magnetic reconnection theory. In this case, the observed superflares are expected to have 2-4 times stronger magnetic field strength than solar flares. read more

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics Earth and Planetary Astrophysics