Evidence of confinement of solar-energetic particles to interplanetary magnetic field lines

E. E. Chollet, J. Giacalone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present new observations of solar-energetic particles (SEPs) associated with impulsive solar flares that show evidence for their confinement to interplanetary magnetic field lines. Some SEP events exhibit intermittent intensity dropouts because magnetic field lines filled with and empty of particle flux mix together. The edges of these dropouts are observed to be very sharp, suggesting that particles cannot easily move from a filled to an empty field line in the time available during their transport from the Sun. In this paper, we perform high time-resolution observations of intensity fall-off at the edges of observed SEP dropouts in order to look for signatures of particle motion off field lines. However, the statistical study is dominated by one particularly intense event. The inferred length scale of the intensity decay is comparable to the gyroradii of the particles, suggesting that particles only rarely scatter off magnetic field lines during interplanetary transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume728
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 10 2011

Keywords

  • Diffusion
  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: particle emission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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