Understanding the thermal and magnetic properties of an X-class flare in the low solar atmosphere

Ferrente, F.; Quintero Noda, C.; Zuccarello, F.; Guglielmino, S. L.
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Astronomy and Astrophysics

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We analyse the spatial distribution and vertical stratification of the physical parameters of the solar atmosphere when an X-class flare occurs. We made use of observations acquired by the Interferometric Bidimensional Spectropolarimeter instrument when observing the full Stokes parameters for the Fe I 6173 Å and Ca II 8542 Å transitions. We analysed the observed spectra using the newly developed DeSIRe code to infer the atmospheric parameters at photospheric and chromospheric layers over the entire observed field of view. Our findings reveal that the chromosphere is characterised by temperature enhancements and strong upflows in the flare ribbon area, which indicates that the flaring event is producing hot material that is moving outwards from the Sun. We did not detect any trace of temperature enhancements or strong velocities (of any sign) at photospheric layers, signalling that the impact of the flaring event mainly happens at the middle and upper layers. The information about the magnetic field vector revealed relatively smooth stratifications with height for both magnetic field strength and inclination. Still, when examining the spatial distribution of the magnetic field inclination, we observed the presence of large-scale mixed polarities in the regions where the flare ribbon is located. These results suggest that the interaction between those mixed polarities could be the flare's triggering mechanism.