Browsing by Subject "Sun: particle emission"

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  • Morosan, D. E.; Palmerio, E.; Räsänen, J. E.; Kilpua, E. K. J.; Magdalenic, J.; Lynch, B. J.; Kumari, A.; Pomoell, J.; Palmroth, M. (2020)
    Context. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are large eruptions of magnetised plasma from the Sun that are often accompanied by solar radio bursts produced by accelerated electrons.Aims. A powerful source for accelerating electron beams are CME-driven shocks, however, there are other mechanisms capable of accelerating electrons during a CME eruption. So far, studies have relied on the traditional classification of solar radio bursts into five groups (Type I-V) based mainly on their shapes and characteristics in dynamic spectra. Here, we aim to determine the origin of moving radio bursts associated with a CME that do not fit into the present classification of the solar radio emission.Methods. By using radio imaging from the Nancay Radioheliograph, combined with observations from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, and Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory spacecraft, we investigate the moving radio bursts accompanying two subsequent CMEs on 22 May 2013. We use three-dimensional reconstructions of the two associated CME eruptions to show the possible origin of the observed radio emission.Results. We identified three moving radio bursts at unusually high altitudes in the corona that are located at the northern CME flank and move outwards synchronously with the CME. The radio bursts correspond to fine-structured emission in dynamic spectra with durations of similar to 1 s, and they may show forward or reverse frequency drifts. Since the CME expands closely following an earlier CME, a low coronal CME-CME interaction is likely responsible for the observed radio emission.Conclusions. For the first time, we report the existence of new types of short duration bursts, which are signatures of electron beams accelerated at the CME flank. Two subsequent CMEs originating from the same region and propagating in similar directions provide a complex configuration of the ambient magnetic field and favourable conditions for the creation of collapsing magnetic traps. These traps are formed if a CME-driven wave, such as a shock wave, is likely to intersect surrounding magnetic field lines twice. Electrons will thus be further accelerated at the mirror points created at these intersections and eventually escape to produce bursts of plasma emission with forward and reverse drifts.
  • Wijsen, N.; Aran, A.; Pomoell, J.; Poedts, S. (2019)
    Aims. We study how a fast solar wind stream embedded in a slow solar wind influences the spread of solar energetic protons in interplanetary space. In particular, we aim at understanding how the particle intensity and anisotropy vary along interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) lines that encounter changing solar wind conditions such as the shock waves bounding a corotating interaction region (CIR). Moreover, we study how the intensities and anisotropies vary as a function of the longitudinal and latitudinal coordinate, and how the width of the particle intensities evolves with the heliographic radial distance. Furthermore, we study how cross-field diffusion may alter these spatial profiles. Methods. To model the energetic protons, we used a recently developed particle transport code that computes particle distributions in the heliosphere by solving the focused transport equation (RTE) in a stochastic manner. The particles are propagated in a solar wind containing a CIR, which was generated by the heliospheric model, EUHFORIA. We study four cases in which we assume a delta injection of 4 MeV protons spread uniformly over different regions at the inner boundary of the model. These source regions have the same size and shape, yet are shifted in longitude from each other, and are therefore magnetically connected to different solar wind conditions. Results. The intensity and anisotropy profiles along selected IMF lines vary strongly according to the different solar wind conditions encountered along the field line. The IMF lines crossing the shocks bounding the CIR show the formation of accelerated particle populations, with the reverse shock wave being a more efficient accelerator than the forward shock wave. The longitudinal intensity profiles near the CIR are highly asymmetric in contrast to the profiles obtained in a nominal solar wind. For the injection regions that do not cross the transition zone between the fast and slow solar wind, we observe a steep intensity drop of several orders of magnitude near the stream interface (SI) inside the CIR. Moreover, we demonstrate that the longitudinal width of the particle intensity distribution can increase, decrease, or remain constant with heliographic radial distance, reflecting the underlying IMF structure. Finally, we show how the deflection of the IMF at the shock waves and the compression of the IMF in the CIR deforms the three-dimensional shape of the particle distribution in such a way that the original shape of the injection profile is lost.
  • Battarbee, Markus; Dalla, Silvia; Marsh, Mike S. (2018)
    Understanding the transport of solar energetic particles (SEPs) from acceleration sites at the Sun into interplanetary space and to the Earth is an important question for forecasting space weather. The interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), with two distinct polarities and a complex structure, governs energetic particle transport and drifts. We analyze for the first time the effect of a wavy heliospheric current sheet (HCS) on the propagation of SEPs. We inject protons close to the Sun and propagate them by integrating fully 3D trajectories within the inner heliosphere in the presence of weak scattering. We model the HCS position using fits based on neutral lines of magnetic field source surface maps (SSMs). We map 1 au proton crossings, which show efficient transport in longitude via HCS, depending on the location of the injection region with respect to the HCS. For HCS tilt angles around 30 degrees-40 degrees, we find significant qualitative differences between A+ and A- configurations of the IMF, with stronger fluences along the HCS in the former case but with a distribution of particles across a wider range of longitudes and latitudes in the latter. We show how a wavy current sheet leads to longitudinally periodic enhancements in particle fluence. We show that for an A+ IMF configuration, a wavy HCS allows for more proton deceleration than a flat HCS. We find that A- IMF configurations result in larger average fluences than A+ IMF configurations, due to a radial drift component at the current sheet.
  • Afanasiev, A.; Vainio, R.; Rouillard, A. P.; Battarbee, M.; Aran, A.; Zucca, P. (2018)
    Context. The source of high-energy protons (above similar to 500 MeV) responsible for ground level enhancements (GLEs) remains an open question in solar physics. One of the candidates is a shock wave driven by a coronal mass ejection, which is thought to accelerate particles via diffusive-shock acceleration. Aims. We perform physics-based simulations of proton acceleration using information on the shock and ambient plasma parameters derived from the observation of a real GLE event. We analyse the simulation results to find out which of the parameters are significant in controlling the acceleration efficiency and to get a better understanding of the conditions under which the shock can produce relativistic protons. Methods. We use the results of the recently developed technique to determine the shock and ambient plasma parameters, applied to the 17 May 2012 GLE event, and carry out proton acceleration simulations with the Coronal Shock Acceleration (CSA) model. Results. We performed proton acceleration simulations for nine individual magnetic field lines characterised by various plasma conditions. Analysis of the simulation results shows that the acceleration efficiency of the shock, i. e. its ability to accelerate particles to high energies, tends to be higher for those shock portions that are characterised by higher values of the scattering-centre compression ratio r(c) and/or the fast-mode Mach number MFM. At the same time, the acceleration efficiency can be strengthened by enhanced plasma density in the corresponding flux tube. The simulations show that protons can be accelerated to GLE energies in the shock portions characterised by the highest values of rc. Analysis of the delays between the flare onset and the production times of protons of 1 GV rigidity for different field lines in our simulations, and a subsequent comparison of those with the observed values indicate a possibility that quasi-perpendicular portions of the shock play the main role in producing relativistic protons.
  • Wijsen, N.; Aran, A.; Pomoell, J.; Poedts, S. (2019)
    Aims. We introduce a new solar energetic particle (SEP) transport code that aims at studying the effects of different background solar wind configurations on SEP events. In this work, we focus on the influence of varying solar wind velocities on the adiabatic energy changes of SEPs and study how a non-Parker background solar wind can trap particles temporarily at small heliocentric radial distances (less than or similar to 1.5AU) thereby influencing the cross-field diffusion of SEPs in the interplanetary space. Methods. Our particle transport code computes particle distributions in the heliosphere by solving the focused transport equation (FTE) in a stochastic manner. Particles are propagated in a solar wind generated by the newly developed data-driven heliospheric model, EUHFORIA. In this work, we solve the FTE, including all solar wind effects, cross-field diffusion, and magnetic-field gradient and curvature drifts. As initial conditions, we assume a delta injection of 4 MeV protons, spread uniformly over a selected region at the inner boundary of the model. To verify the model, we first propagate particles in nominal undisturbed fast and slow solar winds. Thereafter, we simulate and analyse the propagation of particles in a solar wind containing a corotating interaction region (CIR). We study the particle intensities and anisotropies measured by a fleet of virtual observers located at different positions in the heliosphere, as well as the global distribution of particles in interplanetary space. Results. The differential intensity-time profiles obtained in the simulations using the nominal Parker solar wind solutions illustrate the considerable adiabatic deceleration undergone by SEPs, especially when propagating in a fast solar wind. In the case of the solar wind containing a CIR, we observe that particles adiabatically accelerate when propagating in the compression waves bounding the CIR at small radial distances. In addition, for r greater than or similar to 1.5AU, there are particles accelerated by the reverse shock as indicated by, for example, the anisotropies and pitch-angle distributions of the particles. Moreover, a decrease in high-energy particles at the stream interface (SI) inside the CIR is observed. The compression /shock waves and the magnetic configuration near the SI may also act as a magnetic mirror, producing long-lasting high intensities at small radial distances. We also illustrate how the efficiency of the cross-field diffusion in spreading particles in the heliosphere is enhanced due to compressed magnetic fields. Finally, the inclusion of cross-field diffusion enables some particles to cross both the forward compression wave at small radial distances and the forward shock at larger radial distances. This results in the formation of an accelerated particle population centred on the forward shock, despite the lack of magnetic connection between the particle injection region and this shock wave. Particles injected in the fast solar wind stream cannot reach the forward shock since the SI acts as a diffusion barrier.
  • Morosan, D. E.; Kumari, A.; Kilpua, E. K. J.; Hamini, A. (2021)
    Context. Solar eruptions, such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), are often accompanied by accelerated electrons that can in turn emit radiation at radio wavelengths. This radiation is observed as solar radio bursts. The main types of bursts associated with CMEs are type II and type IV bursts that can sometimes show movement in the direction of the CME expansion, either radially or laterally. However, the propagation of radio bursts with respect to CMEs has only been studied for individual events.Aims. Here, we perform a statistical study of 64 moving bursts with the aim to determine how often CMEs are accompanied by moving radio bursts. This is done in order to ascertain the usefulness of using radio images in estimating the early CME expansion.Methods. Using radio imaging from the Nancay Radioheliograph (NRH), we constructed a list of moving radio bursts, defined as bursts that move across the plane of sky at a single frequency. We define their association with CMEs and the properties of associated CMEs using white-light coronagraph observations. We also determine their connection to classical type II and type IV radio burst categorisation.Results. We find that just over a quarter of type II and half of type IV bursts that occurred during the NRH observing windows in Solar Cycle 24 are accompanied by moving radio emission. All but one of the moving radio bursts are associated with white-light CMEs and the majority of moving bursts (90%) are associated with wide CMEs (> 60 degrees in width). In particular, all but one of the moving bursts corresponding to type IIs are associated with wide CMEs; however, and unexpectedly, the majority of type II moving bursts are associated with slow white-light CMEs (<500 km s(-1)). On the other hand, the majority of moving type IV bursts are associated with fast CMEs (> 500 km s(-1)).Conclusions. The observations presented here show that moving radio sources are almost exclusively associated with CMEs. The majority of events are also associated with wide CMEs, indicating that strong lateral expansion during the early stages of the eruption may play a key role in the occurrence of the radio emission observed.
  • Clarke, Brendan P.; Morosan, Diana E.; Gallagher, Peter T.; Dorovskyy, Vladimir V.; Konovalenko, Alexander A.; Carley, Eoin P. (2019)
    Context. Solar activity is often accompanied by solar radio emission, consisting of numerous types of solar radio bursts. At low frequencies (<100 MHz) radio bursts with short durations of milliseconds, such as solar S-bursts, have been identified. To date, their origin and many of their characteristics remain unclear. Aims. We report observations from the Ukrainian T-shaped Radio telescope, (UTR-2), and the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) which give us new insight into their nature. Methods. Over 3000 S-bursts were observed on 9 July 2013 at frequencies of 17.4-83.1MHz during a period of low solar activity. Leading models of S-burst generation were tested by analysing the spectral properties of S-bursts and estimating coronal magnetic field strengths. Results. S-bursts were found to have short durations of 0.5-0.9 s. Multiple instruments were used to measure the dependence of drift rate on frequency which is represented by a power law with an index of 1.57. For the first time, we show a linear relation between instantaneous bandwidth and frequency over a wide frequency band. The flux calibration and high sensitivity of UTR-2 enabled measurements of their fluxes, which yielded 11 +/- 3 solar flux units (1 SFU equivalent to 10(4) Jy). The source particle velocities of S-bursts were found to be similar to 0.07 c. S-burst source heights were found to range from 1.3 R-circle dot to 2 R-circle dot. Furthermore, a contemporary theoretical model of S-burst generation was used to conduct remote sensing of the coronal magnetic field at these heights which yielded values of 0.9-5.8 G. Within error, these values are comparable to those predicted by various relations between magnetic field strength and height in the corona.
  • Usoskin, Dmitry; Koldobskiy, S.; Kovaltsov, G. A.; Gil, A.; Usoskina,; Willamo, T.; Ibragimov, A. (2020)
    Aims. Continuous measurements of ground-based neutron monitors (NMs) form the main data source for studying high-energy high-intensity solar energetic particle (SEP) events that are called ground-level enhancements (GLEs). All available data are collected in the International GLE Database (IGLED), which provides formal NM count-rate increases above the constant pre-increase level which is due to galactic cosmic rays (GCR). This data set is used to reconstruct the energy spectra of GLE events. However, the assumption of a constant GCR background level throughout GLE events is often invalid. Here we thoroughly revise the IGLED and provide a data set of detrended NM count-rate increases that accounts for the variable GCR background. Methods. The formal GLE count-rate increases were corrected for the variable GCR background, which may vary significantly during GLE events. The corresponding integral omnidirectional fluences of SEPs were reconstructed for all GLEs with sufficient strength from the detrended data using the effective rigidity method. Results. The database of the detrended NM count rate is revised for GLE events since 1956. Integral omnidirectional fluences were estimated for 58 GLE events and parametrised for 52 sufficiently strong events using the modified Ellison-Ramaty spectral shape. Conclusions. The IGLED was revised to account for the variable GCR background. Integral omnidirectional fluences reconstructed for most of GLE events were added to IGLED. This forms the basis for more precise studies of parameters of SEP events and thus for solar and space physics.
  • Wijsen, N.; Aran, A.; Sanahuja, B.; Pomoell, J.; Poedts, S. (2020)
    Aims. We study the effect of the magnetic gradient and curvature drifts on the pitch-angle dependent transport of solar energetic particles (SEPs) in the heliosphere, focussing on similar to 3-36 MeV protons. By considering observers located at different positions in the heliosphere, we investigate how drifts may alter the measured intensity-time profiles and energy spectra. We focus on the decay phase of solar energetic proton events in which a temporal invariant spectrum and disappearing spatial intensity gradients are often observed; a phenomenon known as the "reservoir effect" or the "SEP flood". We study the effects of drifts by propagating particles both in nominal and non-nominal solar wind conditions.Methods. We used a three-dimensional (3D) particle transport model, solving the focused transport equation extended with the effect of particle drifts in the spatial term. Nominal Parker solar wind configurations of different speeds and a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generated solar wind containing a corotating interaction region (CIR) were considered. The latter configuration gives rise to a magnetic bottle structure, with one bottleneck at the Sun and the other at the CIR. We inject protons from a fixed source at 0.1 AU, the inner boundary of the MHD model.Results. When the drift induced particle net-flux is zero, the modelled intensity-time profiles obtained at different radial distances along an IMF line show the same intensity fall-off after the prompt phase of the particle event, which is in accordance with the SEP flood phenomenon. However, observers magnetically connected close to the edges of the particle injection site can experience, as a result of drifts, a sudden drop in the intensities occurring at different times for different energies such that no SEP flood phenomenon is established. In the magnetic bottle structure, this effect is enhanced due to the presence of magnetic field gradients strengthening the nominal particle drifts. Moreover, anisotropies can be large for observers that only receive particles through drifts, illustrating the importance of pitch-angle dependent 3D particle modelling. We observe that interplanetary cross-field diffusion can mitigate the effects of particle drifts.Conclusions. Particle drifts can substantially modify the decay phase of SEP events, especially if the solar wind contains compression regions or shock waves where the drifts are enhanced. This is, for example, the case for our CIR solar wind configuration generated with a 3D MHD model, where the effect of drifts is strong. A similar decay rate in different energy channels and for different observers requires the mitigation of the effect of drifts. One way to accomplish this is through interplanetary cross-field diffusion, suggesting thus a way to determine a minimum value for the cross-field diffusion strength.
  • Jebaraj, I. C.; Magdalenic, J.; Podladchikova, T.; Scolini, C.; Pomoell, J.; Veronig, A. M.; Dissauer, K.; Krupar, V.; Kilpua, E. K. J.; Poedts, S. (2020)
    Context. Eruptive events such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and flares accelerate particles and generate shock waves which can arrive at Earth and can disturb the magnetosphere. Understanding the association between CMEs and CME-driven shocks is therefore highly important for space weather studies. Aims. We present a study of the CME/flare event associated with two type II bursts observed on September 27, 2012. The aim of the study is to understand the relationship between the observed CME and the two distinct shock wave signatures. Methods. The multiwavelength study of the eruptive event (CME/flare) was complemented with radio triangulation of the associated radio emission and modelling of the CME and the shock wave employing MHD simulations. Results. We found that, although temporal association between the type II bursts and the CME is good, the low-frequency type II (LF-type II) burst occurs significantly higher in the corona than the CME and its relationship to the CME is not straightforward. The analysis of the EIT wave (coronal bright front) shows the fastest wave component to be in the southeast quadrant of the Sun. This is also the quadrant in which the source positions of the LF-type II were found to be located, probably resulting from the interaction between the shock wave and a streamer. Conclusions. The relationship between the CME/flare event and the shock wave signatures is discussed using the temporal association, as well as the spatial information of the radio emission. Further, we discuss the importance and possible effects of the frequently non-radial propagation of the shock wave.
  • Morosan, D. E.; Kilpua, E. K. J.; Carley, E. P.; Monstein, C. (2019)
    Context. The Sun is an active star and the source of the largest explosions in the solar system, such as flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Flares and CMEs are powerful particle accelerators that can generate radio emission through various emission mechanisms. Aims. CMEs are often accompanied by Type IV radio bursts that are observed as continuum emission in dynamic spectra at decimetric and metric wavelengths, but their emission mechanism can vary from event to event. Here, we aim to determine the emission mechanism of a complex Type IV burst that accompanied the flare and CME on 22 September 2011. Methods. We used radio imaging from the Nancay Radioheliograph, spectroscopic data from the e-Callisto network, ARTEMIS, Ondrejov, and Phoenix3 spectrometers combined with extreme-ultraviolet observations from NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory to analyse the Type IV radio burst and determine its emission mechanism. Results. We show that the emission mechanism of the Type IV radio burst changes over time. We identified two components in the Type IV radio burst: an earlier stationary Type IV showing gyro-synchrotron behaviour, and a later moving Type IV burst covering the same frequency band. This second component has a coherent emission mechanism. Fundamental plasma emission and the electron-cyclotron maser emission are further investigated as possible emission mechanisms for the generation of the moving Type IV burst. Conclusions. Type IV bursts are therefore complex radio bursts, where multiple emission mechanisms can contribute to the generation of the wide-band continuum observed in dynamic spectra. Imaging spectroscopy over a wide frequency band is necessary to determine the emission mechanisms of Type IV bursts that are observed in dynamic spectra.