Characteristics of Nanoflare Heating in a Coronal Bright Point

Hahn, Michael; Ho, Brandon; Savin, Daniel Wolf

We have obtained constraints on the nanoflare energy distribution and timing for the heating of a coronal bright point. Observations of the bright point were made using the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer on Hinode in slot mode, which collects a time series of monochromatic images of the region leading to unambiguous temperature diagnostics. The Enthalpy-Based Thermal Evolution of Loops model was used to simulate nanoflare heating of the bright point and generate a time series of synthetic intensities. The nanoflare heating in the model was parameterized in terms of the power-law index α of the nanoflare energy distribution, which is ∝ E− α; average nanoflare frequency f; and the number N of magnetic strands making up the observed loop. By comparing the synthetic and observed light curves, we inferred the region of the model parameter space (α, f, N) that was consistent with the observations. Broadly, we found that N and f are inversely correlated with one another, while α is directly correlated with either N or f. These correlations are likely a consequence of the region requiring a certain fixed energy input, which can be achieved in various ways by trading off among the different parameters. We also find that a value of α > 2 generally gives the best match between the model and observations, which indicates that the heating is dominated by low-energy events. Our method of using monochromatic images, focusing on a relatively simple structure, and constraining nanoflare parameters on the basis of statistical properties of the intensity provides a versatile approach to better understand the nature of nanoflares and coronal heating.


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Also Published In

The Astrophysical Journal

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Academic Units
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Published Here
March 15, 2023