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Measurements on a shock wave generated by a solar flare


Shock waves generated by intense solar flares may be driven by a large amount of ejected mass, about 5 × 1016 g, and the total energy involved may be of the order of 1032 erg. The shocks may have initial velocities of the order of 2,000 km s−1 and, in their exodus through the corona, may be accompanied by fast-moving optical transients, the emission of highly characteristic radio signatures and the acceleration of particles to quasi-relativistic velocities1. Here we review data on a high-velocity shock generated by a flare on 18 August 1979, 1400 UT, comment on some previously deduced velocities for the shock2, and then present a model, based on current computer programs to account for the overall characteristics of the shock as it propagated through the corona and the interplanetary plasma

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Maxwell, A., Dryer, M. Measurements on a shock wave generated by a solar flare. Nature 300, 237–239 (1982).

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