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A Modelling Investigation for Solar Flare X-ray Stereoscopy with Solar Orbiter/STIX and Earth Orbiting Missions

Natasha L. S. JeffreyS\"am KruckerMorgan Stores ...+8 Fanxiaoyu Xia
Jan 2024
The Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) on board Solar Orbiter (SolO) provides a unique opportunity to systematically perform stereoscopic X-ray observations of solar flares with current and upcoming X-ray missions at Earth. These observations will produce the first reliable measurements of hard X-ray (HXR) directivity in decades, providing a new diagnostic of the flare-accelerated electron angular distribution and helping to constrain the processes that accelerate electrons in flares. However, such observations must be compared to modelling, taking into account electron and X-ray transport effects and realistic plasma conditions, all of which can change the properties of the measured HXR directivity. Here, we show how HXR directivity, defined as the ratio of X-ray spectra at different spacecraft viewing angles, varies with different electron and flare properties (e.g., electron angular distribution, highest energy electrons, and magnetic configuration), and how modelling can be used to extract these typically unknown properties from the data. Lastly, we present a preliminary HXR directivity analysis of two flares, observed by the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) and SolO/STIX, demonstrating the feasibility and challenges associated with such observations, and how HXR directivity can be extracted by comparison with the modelling presented here.
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