Harnessing AIA Diffraction Patterns to Determine Flare Footpoint Temperatures

Monday, 15 December 2014
Hazel M Bain1, Richard A Schwartz2, Gabriele Torre2, Sam Krucker3 and Claire L Raftery3, (1)University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States, (2)Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, United States, (3)Space Sciences Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, United States
In the “Standard Flare Model” energy from accelerated electrons is deposited at the footpoints of newly reconnected flare loops, heating the surrounding plasma. Understanding the relation between the multi-thermal nature of the footpoints and the energy flux from accelerated electrons is therefore fundamental to flare physics. Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) images of bright flare kernels, obtained from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory, are often saturated despite the implementation of automatic exposure control. These kernels produce diffraction patterns often seen in AIA images during the most energetic flares. We implement an automated image reconstruction procedure, which utilizes diffraction pattern artifacts, to de-saturate AIA images and reconstruct the flare brightness in saturated pixels. Applying this technique to recover the footpoint brightness in each of the AIA EUV passbands, we investigate the footpoint temperature distribution. Using observations from the Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI), we will characterize the footpoint accelerated electron distribution of the flare. By combining these techniques, we investigate the relation between the nonthermal electron energy flux and the temperature response of the flare footpoints.