Using Supra-Arcade Downflows as Probes of Patchy Reconnection and Particle Acceleration
Sabrina Savage (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
Monday 11th April 2011, 12:00 noon
Pratt conference room, 60 Garden Street
Extracting information from coronal features above flares has become
more reliable with the availability of increasingly higher spatial-
and temporal-resolution data in recent decades. We are now able to
sufficiently probe the region high above long-duration flaring active
regions where reconnection is expected to be continually occurring.
Flows in the supra-arcade region, first observed with Yohkoh/SXT, have
been theorized to be associated with newly-reconnected outflowing
loops. High resolution data appears to confirm these assertions.
Assuming that these flows are indeed reconnection outflows, then the
detection of those directed toward the solar surface
(i.e. downflowing) should be associated with particle acceleration
between the current sheet and the loop footpoints rooted in the
chromosphere. RHESSI observations of highly energetic particles with
respect to downflow detections could potentially constrain electron
acceleration models. I will discuss measurements of these
supra-arcade downflows (SADs) in relation to patchy reconnection in
the current sheet and present preliminary findings comparing the
downflow timings with high-energy RHESSI lightcurves.