skip to main content

Title: Extended radio emission associated with a breakout eruption from the back side of the Sun
Context. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on the Sun are the largest explosions in the Solar System that can drive powerful plasma shocks. The eruptions, shocks, and other processes associated to CMEs are efficient particle accelerators and the accelerated electrons in particular can produce radio bursts through the plasma emission mechanism. Aims. Coronal mass ejections and associated radio bursts have been well studied in cases where the CME originates close to the solar limb or within the frontside disc. Here, we study the radio emission associated with a CME eruption on the back side of the Sun on 22 July 2012. Methods. Using radio imaging from the Nançay Radioheliograph, spectroscopic data from the Nançay Decametric Array, and extreme-ultraviolet observations from the Solar Dynamics Observatory and Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory spacecraft, we determine the nature of the observed radio emission as well as the location and propagation of the CME. Results. We show that the observed low-intensity radio emission corresponds to a type II radio burst or a short-duration type IV radio burst associated with a CME eruption due to breakout reconnection on the back side of the Sun, as suggested by the pre-eruptive magnetic field configuration. The radio emission consists of a large, extended structure, initially located ahead of the CME, that corresponds to various electron acceleration locations. Conclusions. The observations presented here are consistent with the breakout model of CME eruptions. The extended radio emission coincides with the location of the current sheet and quasi-separatrix boundary of the CME flux and the overlying helmet streamer and also with that of a large shock expected to form ahead of the CME in this configuration.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    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 Nançay 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 ∼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. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    The sustained gamma-ray emission (SGRE) from the Sun is a prolonged enhancement of >100 MeV gamma-ray emission that extends beyond the flare impulsive phase. The origin of the >300 MeV protons resulting in SGRE is debated, with both flares and shocks driven by coronal mass ejections (CMEs) being the suggested sites of proton acceleration. We compared the near-Sun acceleration and space speed of CMEs with “Prompt” and “Delayed” (SGRE) gamma-ray components. We found that “Delayed”-component-associated CMEs have higher initial accelerations and space speeds than “Prompt Only”-component-associated CMEs. We selected halo CMEs (HCMEs) associated with type II radio bursts (shock-driving HCMEs) and compared the average acceleration and space speed between HCME populations with or without SGRE events, major solar energetic particle (SEP) events, metric, or decameter-hectometric (DH) type II radio bursts. We found that the SGRE-producing HCMEs associated with a DH type II radio burst and/or a major SEP event have higher space speeds and especially initial accelerations than those without an SGRE event. We estimated the radial distances and speeds of the CME-driven shocks at the end time of the 2012 January 23 and March 7 SGRE events using white-light images of STEREO Heliospheric Imagers and radio dynamic spectra of Wind WAVES. The shocks were at the radial distances of 0.6–0.8 au and their speeds were high enough (≈975 km s−1and ≈750 km s−1, respectively) for high-energy particle acceleration. Therefore, we conclude that our findings support the CME-driven shock as the source of >300 MeV protons.

    more » « less
  3. Streamer-blowout coronal mass ejections (SBO-CMEs) are the dominant CME population during solar minimum. Although they are typically slow and lack clear low-coronal signatures, they can cause geomagnetic storms. With the aid of extrapolated coronal fields and remote observations of the off-limb low corona, we study the initiation of an SBO-CME preceded by consecutive CME eruptions consistent with a multi-stage sympathetic breakout scenario. From inner-heliospheric Parker Solar Probe (PSP) observations, it is evident that the SBO-CME is interacting with the heliospheric magnetic field and plasma sheet structures draped about the CME flux rope. We estimate that 18 ± 11% of the CME’s azimuthal magnetic flux has been eroded through magnetic reconnection and that this erosion began after a heliospheric distance of ∼0.35 AU from the Sun was reached. This observational study has important implications for understanding the initiation of SBO-CMEs and their interaction with the heliospheric surroundings. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Stealth coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are eruptions from the Sun that are not associated with appreciable low-coronal signatures. Because they often cannot be linked to a well-defined source region on the Sun, analysis of their initial magnetic configuration and eruption dynamics is particularly problematic. In this article, we address this issue by undertaking the first attempt at predicting the magnetic fields of a stealth CME that erupted in 2020 June from the Earth-facing Sun. We estimate its source region with the aid of off-limb observations from a secondary viewpoint and photospheric magnetic field extrapolations. We then employ the Open Solar Physics Rapid Ensemble Information modeling suite to evaluate its early evolution and forward model its magnetic fields up to Parker Solar Probe, which detected the CME in situ at a heliocentric distance of 0.5 au. We compare our hindcast prediction with in situ measurements and a set of flux-rope reconstructions, obtaining encouraging agreement on arrival time, spacecraft-crossing location, and magnetic field profiles. This work represents a first step toward reliable understanding and forecasting of the magnetic configuration of stealth CMEs and slow streamer-blowout events.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Geomagnetic storms are an important aspect of space weather and can result in significant impacts on space- and ground-based assets. The majority of strong storms are associated with the passage of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) in the near-Earth environment. In many cases, these ICMEs can be traced back unambiguously to a specific coronal mass ejection (CME) and solar activity on the frontside of the Sun. Hence, predicting the arrival of ICMEs at Earth from routine observations of CMEs and solar activity currently makes a major contribution to the forecasting of geomagnetic storms. However, it is clear that some ICMEs, which may also cause enhanced geomagnetic activity, cannot be traced back to an observed CME, or, if the CME is identified, its origin may be elusive or ambiguous in coronal images. Such CMEs have been termed “stealth CMEs”. In this review, we focus on these “problem” geomagnetic storms in the sense that the solar/CME precursors are enigmatic and stealthy. We start by reviewing evidence for stealth CMEs discussed in past studies. We then identify several moderate to strong geomagnetic storms (minimum Dst$< -50$<50 nT) in solar cycle 24 for which the related solar sources and/or CMEs are unclear and apparently stealthy. We discuss the solar and in situ circumstances of these events and identify several scenarios that may account for their elusive solar signatures. These range from observational limitations (e.g., a coronagraph near Earth may not detect an incoming CME if it is diffuse and not wide enough) to the possibility that there is a class of mass ejections from the Sun that have only weak or hard-to-observe coronal signatures. In particular, some of these sources are only clearly revealed by considering the evolution of coronal structures over longer time intervals than is usually considered. We also review a variety of numerical modelling approaches that attempt to advance our understanding of the origins and consequences of stealthy solar eruptions with geoeffective potential. Specifically, we discuss magnetofrictional modelling of the energisation of stealth CME source regions and magnetohydrodynamic modelling of the physical processes that generate stealth CME or CME-like eruptions, typically from higher altitudes in the solar corona than CMEs from active regions or extended filament channels.

    more » « less