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Title: Episodic Energy Release during the Main and Post-impulsive Phases of a Solar Flare

When and where the magnetic field energy is released and converted in eruptive solar flares remains an outstanding topic in solar physics. To shed light on this question, here we report multiwavelength observations of a C9.4-class eruptive limb flare that occurred on 2017 August 20. The flare, accompanied by a magnetic flux rope eruption and a white light coronal mass ejection, features three post-impulsive X-ray and microwave bursts immediately following its main impulsive phase. For each burst, both microwave and X-ray imaging suggest that the nonthermal electrons are located in the above-the-loop-top region. Interestingly, contrary to many other flares, the peak flux of the three post-impulsive microwave and X-ray bursts shows an increase for later bursts. Spectral analysis reveals that the sources have a hardening spectral index, suggesting a more efficient electron acceleration into the later post-impulsive bursts. We observe a positive correlation between the acceleration of the magnetic flux rope and the nonthermal energy release during the post-impulsive bursts in the same event. Intriguingly, different from some other eruptive events, this correlation does not hold for the main impulse phase of this event, which we interpret as energy release due to the tether-cutting reconnection before the primary flux rope acceleration occurs. In addition, using footpoint brightenings at conjugate flare ribbons, a weakening reconnection guide field is inferred, which may also contribute to the hardening of the nonthermal electrons during the post-impulsive phase.

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Award ID(s):
1654382 2130832 2108853 1954737 2204384
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Medium: X Size: Article No. 174
Article No. 174
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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