Ref: CTALK-2017-0034

The Effects of Flare Definitions on the Statistics of Derived Flare Distributions

Ryan, Daniel ; Dominique, Marie ; Seaton, Daniel B. ; Stegen, Koen ; White, Arthur

Talk presented at SPD meeting on 2016-05-31

Abstract: The statistical examination of solar flares is crucial to revealing their global characteristics and behaviour. However, statistical flare studies are often performed using standard but basic flare detection algorithms relying on arbitrary thresholds which may affect the derived flare distributions. We explore the effect of the arbitrary thresholds used in the GOES event list and LYRA Flare Finder algorithms. We find that there is a small but significant relationship between the power law exponent of the GOES flare peak flux frequency distribution and the algorithms’ flare start thresholds. We also find that the power law exponents of these distributions are not stable but appear to steepen with increasing peak flux. This implies that the observed flare size distribution may not be a power law at all. We show that depending on the true value of the exponent of the flare size distribution, this deviation from a power law may be due to flares missed by the flare detection algorithms. However, it is not possible determine the true exponent from GOES/XRS observations. Additionally we find that the PROBA2/LYRA flare size distributions are clearly non-power law. We show that this is consistent with an insufficient degradation correction which causes LYRA absolute irradiance values to be unreliable. This means that they should not be used for flare statistics or energetics unless degradation is adequately accounted for. However they can be used to study time variations over shorter timescales and for space weather monitoring.

The record appears in these collections:
Conference Contributions & Seminars > Conference Talks > Contributed Talks
Royal Observatory of Belgium > Solar Physics & Space Weather (SIDC)

 Record created 2017-01-16, last modified 2017-01-16