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Astron. Astrophys. 350, 1040-1050 (1999)

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Extended cellular automaton models of solar flare occurrence

K.P. Macpherson 1 and A.L. MacKinnon 2

1 Department of Physics (Theoretical Physics), Oxford University, 1 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3NP, UK (kpm@thphys.ox.ac.uk)
2 Department of Adult and Continuing Education, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK (alec@astro.gla.ac.uk)

Received 13 August 1998 / Accepted 31 August 1999


In a previous study, we proposed a class of stochastic cellular automaton models for the occurrence of solar flares. `Flaring elements' of a deliberately unspecified nature were allowed to interact. Investigation of a 1-D version of the model, capable of analytical description, conflicted in detail with observations but indicated the qualitative success of such a picture. In this extended study, we investigate the consequences of relaxing various assumptions present in the initial study. In this way we can build up a family of models each producing a better match with the observations. From these results we can say which features control the power-law indices obtained from self-organising models of flare occurrence. The sorts of constraints this type of modelling produces will also have to be satisfied by more physically detailed pictures.

Key words: Sun: activity – Sun: flares – Sun: magnetic fields – Sun: X-rays, gamma rays

Send offprint requests to: K.P. Macpherson

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: October 14, 1999