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Astron. Astrophys. 339, L57-L60 (1998)

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Letter to the Editor

Analytical results in a cellular automaton model of solar flare occurrence

Yuri E. Litvinenko

Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824-3525, USA (e-mail: yuri.litvinenko@unh.edu)

Received 3 September 1998 / Accepted 5 October 1998


Methods of the branching theory are applied to the Macpherson-MacKinnon (1997) cellular automation model for the occurrence of solar flares. The distribution of flare energies is shown to be a power law with the slope [FORMULA] independent of dimensionality D of the model and in nice agreement with observations, arguing in favor of the model. An expression for the upper energy cut-off and a condition for the average flare size to become infinite are derived for an arbitrary D as well, providing an opportunity for comparing the analytical and numerical results.

Key words: Sun: corona – Sun: flares – Sun: magnetic fields

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: October 22, 1998