Capability of the accelerated protons as the origin of white-light emission of solar flare
K. Watanabe, S. Masuda, M. Ohno
In association with strong solar flares, we sometimes observe enhancements of visible continuum radiation, which is known as a "white-light flare".
As most white-light (WL) events show close correlations in time and location with hard X-rays and/or radio emission, there is some consensus that WL emission originates from accelerated particles, especially non-thermal electrons.
One model proposes that WL is emitted near the photosphere; however, non-thermal electrons are thermalized in the chromosphere and cannot reach the photosphere.
Thus, there is a problem: how can the energy of non-thermal electrons - and/or other accelerated particles such as high-energy protons - propagate to the photosphere and produce WL emission?
In the present study, we investigate the possibility that accelerated protons may produce the WL emission of solar flares.
We found 51 WL events observed by Hinode/SOT.
Among them, gamma-rays with energies greater than 1MeV were observed only in the X1.8-class flare on October 23, 2012 and in the M7.9-class flare on June 25, 2015.
Focusing on these flare events, we compare the energetics of WL emission and of accelerated ion fluxes.
We find that it is difficult for accelerated ions to provide sufficient energy to account for WL emission.