Searching SOLfully within the Nuggets

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Number: 360
1st Author: Hugh Hudson
2nd Author:
Published: 7 October 2019
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In 2010 our colleague Karel Schrijver helped to launch a great clerical improvement in heliospheric physics, through IAU channels, to systematize the names of solar flares and other events (Ref. [1]). Basically any solar event could be labeled unambiguously in a format beginning with SOLyyyy-mm-dd, good enough if there was only one event on that particular day, or extendible by Thh:mm:ss and also a position field if necessary, in the form LdddCddd in terms of Carrington latitude and longitude. For RHESSI flare fans, usually the time field is enough.

Although clerical in nature, this step is not trivial because it means that one can more easily find research work related to a given event. After a decade, how is this working?`

Searching RHESSI Nuggets

On the home page here, there is a "Search" field, and to find entries about a given flare one merely enters its identifier (with quotation marks), as illustrated in this table:

"Last Best"

"SOL2017-09-10" 306, 310, 327, 346, 347, 348, 352, 358
"SOL2006-12-13" 306
"SOL1996-07-09" 306, 358
"SOL1986-02-04" 0

Other famous flares 

"SOL2014-09-01" 268, 287                      "A Frost-Dennis event"
"SOL2014-03-29" 231, 237, 274, 357            "Best observed flare"
"SOL2011-06-07" 206, 300
"SOL2011-02-15" 171, 223, 230, 243, 255, 261  "First X-class of Cycle 24"
"SOL2002-07-23" 209, 243, 260, 262, 
"SOL2000-07-14" 303, 322                      "Bastille Day"
"SOL1969-03-30"  38, 268                      "The Frost-Dennis event"
"SOL1859-09-01" 213, 243, 310, 328            "Carrington flare"


Justly well-studied, this fine flare already has 8 Nuggets identifiable this way (see the table above; one can quickly bring up any Nugget by scrolling down to its number. As pointed out by Paulo Simões in "The Flare that Time Forgot", one can also execute searches on an IAU target identifier on Google or other search engine, across the whole Web. In the case of SOL2014-09-01, at the time of writing, the Google search came up with "about 188,000 results", so this is also recommended. A similar search on ADS yielded 9 entries, and again this required quotation marks.


The IAU target identifier works fine, and we should all use it!

These queries (Nuggets, Google, ADS) show that in our community the mantra "One flare, one paper" often holds, but for a really important event "One flare, many papers" is a better description. Some brave soul should wait for a year or so, and then write a review paper just about SOL2017-09-10.


[1] "Solar Observation Target Identification Convention for use in Solar Physics"

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