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Title: The First Survey of Quiet Sun Features Observed in Hard X-Rays with NuSTAR
Abstract We present the first survey of quiet Sun features observed in hard X-rays (HXRs), using the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope ARray (NuSTAR), a HXR focusing optics telescope. The recent solar minimum, combined with NuSTAR’s high sensitivity, has presented a unique opportunity to perform the first HXR imaging spectroscopy on a range of features in the quiet Sun. By studying the HXR emission of these features, we can detect or constrain the presence of high temperature (> 5 MK) or non-thermal sources, to help understand how they relate to larger, more energetic solar phenomena, and determine their contribution to heating the solar atmosphere. We report on several features observed in the 28 September 2018 NuSTAR full-disk quiet Sun mosaics, the first of the NuSTAR quiet Sun observing campaigns, which mostly include steady features of X-ray bright points and an emerging flux region, which later evolved into an active region, as well as a short-lived jet. We find that the features’ HXR spectra are well fitted with isothermal models with temperatures ranging between 2.0 – 3.2 MK. Combining the NuSTAR data with softer X-ray emission from Hinode/XRT and EUV from SDO/AIA, we recover the differential emission measures, confirming little significant emission above 4 MK. The NuSTAR HXR spectra allow us to constrain the possible non-thermal emission that would still be consistent with a null HXR detection. We found that for only one of the features (the jet) was there a potential non-thermal upper limit capable of powering the heating observed. However, even here, the non-thermal electron distribution had to be very steep (effectively mono-energetic) with a low energy cut-off between 3 – 4 keV.  more » « less
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Solar Physics
Medium: X
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National Science Foundation
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