XRT Picture of the Week (XPOW)

XRT Picture of the Week (XPOW)

XRT Home XRT Mission Ops YouTube

2013 August 15

Click for larger field movie

Tiny Active Region Bright Point

Activity has been remarkably low over the past month, despite being in the thick of solar max, so there are a scant few events to show you XRT enthusiasts. Nevertheless, there's always something neat to see if you look closely! This entry shows a tiny, flickering bright point that appeared in Active Region 11800. The bright point occupies just 4 square pixels of XRT's detector, which corresponds to an area of about 550,000 square kilometers (somewhere between the areas of California and Texas). These images are taken with a 60-second cadence, and the bright point flickers in as little as that time near the end of the movie. Both the compact size and the rapidity of the flickering make this a fairly unusual event. The cause isn't quite clear from the X-ray images alone, but a possible explanation is that a small dipole emerges beneath the main set of loops and triggers a minor reconnection event. There is some indication of outflowing material in the early brightenings, which supports this idea.

Keywords: Microflares
Filters: Al_mesh

(Prepared by Patrick McCauley)

Back Archive Next