Particle acceleration by a solar flare termination shock

Bin Chen, Timothy S. Bastian, Chengcai Shen, Dale E. Gary, Säm Krucker, Lindsay Glesener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Solar flares-the most powerful explosions in the solar system-are also efficient particle accelerators, capable of energizing a large number of charged particles to relativistic speeds. A termination shock is often invoked in the standard model of solar flares as a possible driver for particle acceleration, yet its existence and role have remained controversial. We present observations of a solar flare termination shock and trace its morphology and dynamics using high-cadence radio imaging spectroscopy.We show that a disruption of the shock coincides with an abrupt reduction of the energetic electron population. The observed properties of the shock are well reproduced by simulations. These results strongly suggest that a termination shock is responsible, at least in part, for accelerating energetic electrons in solar flares.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1238-1242
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume350
Issue number6265
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 4 2015

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