skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on March 1, 2023

Title: Langmuir-Slow Extraordinary Mode Magnetic Signature Observations with Parker Solar Probe
Abstract Radio emission from interplanetary shocks, planetary foreshocks, and some solar flares occurs in the so-called “plasma emission” framework. The generally accepted scenario begins with electrostatic Langmuir waves that are driven by a suprathermal electron beam on the Landau resonance. These Langmuir waves then mode-convert to freely propagating electromagnetic emissions at the local plasma frequency f pe and/or its harmonic 2 f pe . However, the details of the physics of mode conversion are unclear, and so far the magnetic component of the plasma waves has not been definitively measured. Several spacecraft have measured quasi-monochromatic Langmuir or slow extraordinary modes (sometimes called z -modes) in the solar wind. These coherent waves are expected to have a weak magnetic component, which has never been observed in an unambiguous way. Here we report on the direct measurement of the magnetic signature of these waves using the Search Coil Magnetometer sensor of the Parker Solar Probe/FIELDS instrument. Using simulations of wave propagation in an inhomogeneous plasma, we show that the appearance of the magnetic component of the slow extraordinary mode is highly influenced by the presence of density inhomogeneities that occasionally cause the refractive index to drop to low values where the wave more » has strong electromagnetic properties. « less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Variations of vertical atmospheric electric field E z have been attributed mainly to meteorological processes. On the other hand, the theory of electromagnetic waves in the atmosphere, between the bottom ionosphere and earth’s surface, predicts two modes, magnetic H (TE) and electric E (TH) modes, where the E-mode has a vertical electric field component, E z . Past attempts to find signatures of ULF (periods from fractions to tens of minutes) disturbances in E z gave contradictory results. Recently, study of ULF disturbances of atmospheric electric field became feasible thanks to project GLOCAEM, which united stations with 1 sec measurements ofmore »potential gradient. These data enable us to address the long-standing problem of the coupling between atmospheric electricity and space weather disturbances at ULF time scales. Also, we have reexamined results of earlier balloon-born electric field and ground magnetic field measurements in Antarctica. Transmission of storm sudden commencement (SSC) impulses to lower latitudes was often interpreted as excitation of the electric TH 0 mode, instantly propagating along the ionosphere–ground waveguide. According to this theoretical estimate, even a weak magnetic signature of the E-mode ∼1 nT must be accompanied by a burst of E z well exceeding the atmospheric potential gradient. We have examined simultaneous records of magnetometers and electric field-mills during >50 SSC events in 2007–2019 in search for signatures of E-mode. However, the observed E z disturbance never exceeded background fluctuations ∼10 V/m, much less than expected for the TH 0 mode. We constructed a model of the electromagnetic ULF response to an oscillating magnetospheric field-aligned current incident onto the realistic ionosphere and atmosphere. The model is based on numerical solution of the full-wave equations in the atmospheric-ionospheric collisional plasma, using parameters that were reconstructed using the IRI model. We have calculated the vertical and horizontal distributions of magnetic and electric fields of both H- and E-modes excited by magnetospheric field-aligned currents. The model predicts that the excitation rate of the E-mode by magnetospheric disturbances is low, so only a weak E z response with a magnitude of ∼several V/m will be produced by ∼100 nT geomagnetic disturbance. However, at balloon heights (∼30 km), electric field of the E-mode becomes dominating. Predicted amplitudes of horizontal electric field in the atmosphere induced by Pc5 pulsations and travelling convection vortices, about tens of mV/m, are in good agreement with balloon electric field and ground magnetometer observations.« less
  2. About eight years ago it was predicted theoretically that a charged chiral plasma could support the propagation of the so-called chiral magnetic waves, which are driven by the anomalous chiral magnetic and chiral separation effects. This prompted intensive experimental efforts in search of signatures of such waves in relativistic heavy-ion collisions. In fact, several experiments have already reported a tentative detection of the predicted signal, albeit with a significant background contribution. Here, we critically reanalyze the theoretical foundations for the existence of the chiral magnetic waves. We find that the commonly used background-field approximation is not sufficient for treating themore »waves in hot chiral plasmas in the long-wavelength limit. Indeed, the back-reaction from dynamically induced electromagnetic fields turns the chiral magnetic wave into a diffusive mode. While the situation is slightly better in the strongly-coupled near-critical regime of quark-gluon plasma created in heavy-ion collisions, the chiral magnetic wave is still strongly overdamped due to the effects of electrical conductivity and charge diffusion.« less
  3. Alfvén waves as excited in black hole accretion disks and neutron star magnetospheres are the building blocks of turbulence in relativistic, magnetized plasmas. A large reservoir of magnetic energy is available in these systems, such that the plasma can be heated significantly even in the weak turbulence regime. We perform high-resolution three-dimensional simulations of counter-propagating Alfvén waves, showing that an $E_{B_{\perp }}(k_{\perp }) \propto k_{\perp }^{-2}$ energy spectrum develops as a result of the weak turbulence cascade in relativistic magnetohydrodynamics and its infinitely magnetized (force-free) limit. The plasma turbulence ubiquitously generates current sheets, which act as locations where magnetic energymore »dissipates. We show that current sheets form as a natural result of nonlinear interactions between counter-propagating Alfvén waves. These current sheets form owing to the compression of elongated eddies, driven by the shear induced by growing higher-order modes, and undergo a thinning process until they break-up into small-scale turbulent structures. We explore the formation of current sheets both in overlapping waves and in localized wave packet collisions. The relativistic interaction of localized Alfvén waves induces both Alfvén waves and fast waves, and efficiently mediates the conversion and dissipation of electromagnetic energy in astrophysical systems. Plasma energization through reconnection in current sheets emerging during the interaction of Alfvén waves can potentially explain X-ray emission in black hole accretion coronae and neutron star magnetospheres.« less
  4. 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 presentmore »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.« less
  5. Context.   Tycho ’s supernova remnant (SNR) is associated with the historical supernova (SN) event SN 1572 of Type Ia. The explosion occurred in a relatively clean environment, and was visually observed, providing an age estimate. This SNR therefore represents an ideal astrophysical test-bed for the study of cosmic-ray acceleration and related phenomena. A number of studies suggest that shock acceleration with particle feedback and very efficient magnetic-field amplification combined with Alfvénic drift are needed to explain the rather soft radio spectrum and the narrow rims observed in X-rays. Aims. We show that the broadband spectrum of Tycho ’s SNRmore »can alternatively be well explained when accounting for stochastic acceleration as a secondary process. The re-acceleration of particles in the turbulent region immediately downstream of the shock should be efficient enough to impact particle spectra over several decades in energy. The so-called Alfvénic drift and particle feedback on the shock structure are not required in this scenario. Additionally, we investigate whether synchrotron losses or magnetic-field damping play a more profound role in the formation of the non-thermal filaments. Methods. We solved the full particle transport equation in test-particle mode using hydrodynamic simulations of the SNR plasma flow. The background magnetic field was either computed from the induction equation or follows analytic profiles, depending on the model considered. Fast-mode waves in the downstream region provide the diffusion of particles in momentum space. Results. We show that the broadband spectrum of Tycho can be well explained if magnetic-field damping and stochastic re-acceleration of particles are taken into account. Although not as efficient as standard diffusive shock acceleration, stochastic acceleration leaves its imprint on the particle spectra, which is especially notable in the emission at radio wavelengths. We find a lower limit for the post-shock magnetic-field strength ∼330  μ G, implying efficient amplification even for the magnetic-field damping scenario. Magnetic-field damping is necessary for the formation of the filaments in the radio range, while the X-ray filaments are shaped by both the synchrotron losses and magnetic-field damping.« less