#Solarflares are intense eruptions of matter and electromagnetic radiation that occur in the outer regions of the Sun’s atmosphere. The frequency with which they occur, as well as the energy they release, are key parameters for controlling #solaractivity and monitoring the Sun’s eleven-year cycle.
This phenomenon has been observed by the AGILE (Astrorivelatore Gamma ad Immagini LEggero) satellite, developed by OHB Italia S.p.A. as Prime Contractor for Agenzia Spaziale Italiana with the collaboration of INAF, INFN, Contraves, Laben and Telespazio. Thanks to the data collected over more than 15 years of activity, the first #catalogue of solar flares has been produced. This mapping will be published in the scientific journal The Astrophysical Journal Letter Supplement.
The new AGILE catalogue includes more than 5.000 solar flares revealed from the launch of the satellite – on 23rd April 2007 – until 2022 and contains information on their overall duration, their growth and decrease phase, and their #energy.
Solar flares release a large amount of #electromagneticradiation at all wavelengths, from the so-called ‘lowest’ energies (radio waves) to the ‘highest’ energies (X-rays and gamma rays). There are few missions able to observe similar events at higher energies. One of these is AGILE, whose on-board Anti-Coincidence, sensitive in the 80-200 keV (kilo-electron volt) band, has made it possible to collect a large number of flares in the #highenergies.
An initial analysis of the events observed by AGILE seems to support a two-stage mechanism of #electronacceleration in the solar atmosphere, already suggested in the late 1970s.
AGILE is a small scientific mission but which gave to science incredible great #results. And it is still running…