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Statistical Study of GOES X-Ray Quasi-periodic Pulsations in Solar Flares

Published onAug 18, 2020
Statistical Study of GOES X-Ray Quasi-periodic Pulsations in Solar Flares

Small-amplitude quasi-periodic pulsations (QPPs) detected in soft X-ray emission are commonplace in many flares. To date, the underpinning processes resulting in the QPPs are unknown. In this paper, we attempt to constrain the prevalence of stationary QPPs in the largest statistical study to date, including a study of the relationship of QPP periods to the properties of the flaring active region, flare ribbons, and coronal mass ejection (CME) affiliation. We build upon the work of Inglis et al. and use a model comparison test to search for significant power in the Fourier spectra of lightcurves of the GOES 1-8 Å channel. We analyze all X-, M- and C-class flares of the past solar cycle, a total of 5519 flares, and search for periodicity in the 6-300 s timescale range. Approximately 46% of X-class, 29% of M-class, and 7% of C-class flares show evidence of stationary QPPs, with periods that follow a log-normal distribution peaked at 20 s. The QPP periods were found to be independent of flare magnitude; however, a positive correlation was found between QPP period and flare duration. No dependence of the QPP periods on the global active region properties was identified. A positive correlation was found between QPPs and ribbon properties, including unsigned magnetic flux, ribbon area, and ribbon separation distance. We found that both flares with and without an associated CME can host QPPs. Furthermore, we demonstrate that for X- and M-class flares, decay-phase QPPs have statistically longer periods than impulsive-phase QPPs.

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