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Title: A numerical simulation of solar energetic particle dropouts during impulsive events

Abstract

This paper investigates the conditions for producing rapid variations of solar energetic particle (SEP) intensity commonly known as 'dropouts'. In particular, we use numerical model simulations based on solving the focused transport equation in the three-dimensional Parker interplanetary magnetic field to put constraints on the properties of particle transport coefficients in both directions perpendicular and parallel to the magnetic field. Our calculations of the temporal intensity profile of 0.5 and 5 MeV protons at the Earth show that the perpendicular diffusion must be small while the parallel mean free path is long in order to reproduce the phenomenon of SEP dropouts. When the parallel mean free path is a fraction of 1 AU and the observer is located at 1 AU, the perpendicular to parallel diffusion ratio must be below 10{sup –5} if we want to see the particle flux dropping by at least several times within 3 hr. When the observer is located at a larger solar radial distance, the perpendicular to parallel diffusion ratio for reproducing the dropouts should be even lower than that in the case of 1 AU distance. A shorter parallel mean free path or a larger radial distance from the source to observer willmore » cause the particles to arrive later, making the effects of perpendicular diffusion more prominent and SEP dropouts disappear. All of these effects require the magnetic turbulence that resonates with the particles to be low everywhere in the inner heliosphere.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190 (China)
  2. Department of Physics and Space Science, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL 32901 (United States)
  3. Jeremiah Horrocks Institute, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire PR1 2HE (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365646
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 789; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; DIFFUSION; DISTANCE; EMISSION; GRANULATION; HELIOSPHERE; INTERPLANETARY MAGNETIC FIELDS; MEAN FREE PATH; MEV RANGE; PROTONS; SOLAR WIND; SUN; THREE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; TRANSPORT THEORY; TURBULENCE

Citation Formats

Wang, Y., Qin, G., Zhang, M., and Dalla, S., E-mail: ywang@spaceweather.ac.cn, E-mail: gqin@spaceweather.ac.cn. A numerical simulation of solar energetic particle dropouts during impulsive events. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/789/2/157.
Wang, Y., Qin, G., Zhang, M., & Dalla, S., E-mail: ywang@spaceweather.ac.cn, E-mail: gqin@spaceweather.ac.cn. A numerical simulation of solar energetic particle dropouts during impulsive events. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/789/2/157.
Wang, Y., Qin, G., Zhang, M., and Dalla, S., E-mail: ywang@spaceweather.ac.cn, E-mail: gqin@spaceweather.ac.cn. Thu . "A numerical simulation of solar energetic particle dropouts during impulsive events". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/789/2/157.
@article{osti_22365646,
title = {A numerical simulation of solar energetic particle dropouts during impulsive events},
author = {Wang, Y. and Qin, G. and Zhang, M. and Dalla, S., E-mail: ywang@spaceweather.ac.cn, E-mail: gqin@spaceweather.ac.cn},
abstractNote = {This paper investigates the conditions for producing rapid variations of solar energetic particle (SEP) intensity commonly known as 'dropouts'. In particular, we use numerical model simulations based on solving the focused transport equation in the three-dimensional Parker interplanetary magnetic field to put constraints on the properties of particle transport coefficients in both directions perpendicular and parallel to the magnetic field. Our calculations of the temporal intensity profile of 0.5 and 5 MeV protons at the Earth show that the perpendicular diffusion must be small while the parallel mean free path is long in order to reproduce the phenomenon of SEP dropouts. When the parallel mean free path is a fraction of 1 AU and the observer is located at 1 AU, the perpendicular to parallel diffusion ratio must be below 10{sup –5} if we want to see the particle flux dropping by at least several times within 3 hr. When the observer is located at a larger solar radial distance, the perpendicular to parallel diffusion ratio for reproducing the dropouts should be even lower than that in the case of 1 AU distance. A shorter parallel mean free path or a larger radial distance from the source to observer will cause the particles to arrive later, making the effects of perpendicular diffusion more prominent and SEP dropouts disappear. All of these effects require the magnetic turbulence that resonates with the particles to be low everywhere in the inner heliosphere.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/789/2/157},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 789,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jul 10 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Thu Jul 10 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}
  • Since the field-line mixing model of Giacalone et al. suggests that ion dropouts cannot happen in the “gradual” solar energetic particle (SEP) event because of the large size of the particle source region in the event, the observational evidence of ion dropouts in the gradual SEP event should challenge the model. We have searched for the presence of ion dropouts in the gradual SEP event during solar cycle 23. From 10 SEP events the synchronized occurrence of ion and electron dropouts is identified in 12 periods. Our main observational facts, including the mean width of electron–ion dropout periods being consistentmore » with the solar wind correlation scale, during the dropout period the dominance of the slab turbulence component and the enhanced turbulence power parallel to the mean magnetic field, and the ion gyroradius dependence of the edge steepness in dropout periods, are all in support of the solar wind turbulence origin of dropout events. Also, our observation indicates that a wide longitude distribution of SEP events could be due to the increase of slab turbulence fraction with the increased longitude distance from the flare-associated active region.« less
  • We use numerical solutions of the focused transport equation obtained by an implicit stochastic differential equation scheme to study the evolution of the pitch-angle dependent distribution function of protons in the vicinity of shock waves. For a planar stationary parallel shock, the effects of anisotropic distribution functions, pitch-angle dependent spatial diffusion, and first-order Fermi acceleration at the shock are examined, including the timescales on which the energy spectrum approaches the predictions of diffusive shock acceleration theory. We then consider the case that a flare-accelerated population of ions is released close to the Sun simultaneously with a traveling interplanetary shock formore » which we assume a simplified geometry. We investigate the consequences of adiabatic focusing in the diverging magnetic field on the particle transport at the shock, and of the competing effects of acceleration at the shock and adiabatic energy losses in the expanding solar wind. We analyze the resulting intensities, anisotropies, and energy spectra as a function of time and find that our simulations can naturally reproduce the morphologies of so-called mixed particle events in which sometimes the prompt and sometimes the shock component is more prominent, by assuming parameter values which are typically observed for scattering mean free paths of ions in the inner heliosphere and energy spectra of the flare particles which are injected simultaneously with the release of the shock.« less
  • We have examined 29 large solar energetic particle (SEP) events with the peak proton intensity J {sub pp}(>60 MeV) > 1 pfu during solar cycle 23. The emphasis of our examination is put on a joint analysis of Ne/O and Fe/O data in the energy range (3–40 MeV nucleon{sup −1}) covered by Wind /Low-Energy Matrix Telescope and ACE /Solar Isotope Spectrometer sensors in order to differentiate between the Fe-poor and Fe-rich events that emerged from the coronal mass ejection driven shock acceleration process. An improved ion ratio calculation is carried out by rebinning ion intensity data into the form ofmore » equal bin widths in the logarithmic energy scale. Through the analysis we find that the variability of Ne/O and Fe/O ratios can be used to investigate the accelerating shock properties. In particular, the high-energy Ne/O ratio is well correlated with the source plasma temperature of SEPs.« less
  • We report intensity and anisotropy measurements of energetic electrons in the energy range of {approx}27-{approx}500 keV as observed with the Wind and Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft in 2000 June for several solar energetic particle (SEP) events. The solar sources of the SEP events are inferred from observations from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft. All of the events originate from the western limb active regions (ARs), which are well connected by interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) lines linking the Sun to near-Earth space. The observations on board Wind show bimodal pitch angle distributions (PADs), whereas ACE shows PADs with onemore » peak, as is usually observed for impulsive injection of electrons at the Sun. During the time of observations, Wind was located, upstream of the Earth's bow shock in the dawn-noon sector, at distances of {approx}40-{approx}80 R{sub E} from the Earth, and we infer that it was magnetically connected to the quasi-parallel bow shock. Meanwhile, ACE, orbiting the Sun-Earth libration point L1, was not connected to the bow shock. The electron intensity-time profiles and the energy spectra show that the backstreaming electrons observed at Wind are not of magnetospheric origin. The observations suggest rather that the bidirectional electron fluxes are due to reflection or scattering by an obstacle located at a distance of less than {approx}150 R{sub E} in the anti-sunward direction, which is compatible with the obstacle being the Earth's bow shock or magnetosheath.« less
  • The time-intensity profile of large solar energetic particle (SEP) event is well organized by solar longitude as observed at Earth orbit. This is mostly due to different magnetic connection to the shock that is associated with large SEP event propagates from the Sun to the heliosphere. Earlier studies have shown event averaged heavy ion abundance ratios can also vary as a function of solar longitude. It was found that the Fe/O ratio for high energy particle (>10 MeV/nucleon) is higher for those western magnetically well connected events compare to the eastern events as observed at L1 by the Advanced Composition Explorermore » (ACE) spacecraft. In this paper, we examined the low energy (∼1 MeV/nucleon) heavy ions in 110 isolated SEP events from 2009 to the end of 2014. In addition, the optical and radio signatures for all of our events are identified and when data are available we also located the associated coronal mass ejection (CME) data. Our survey shows a higher Fe/O ratio at events in the well-connected region, while there are no corrections between the event averaged elemental composition with the associated coronal mass ejection speed. This is inconsistent with the higher energy results, but inline with other recent low-energy measurements.« less