skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Title: Stellar Energetic Particle Transport in the Turbulent and CME-disrupted Stellar Wind of AU Microscopii
Abstract Energetic particles emitted by active stars are likely to propagate in astrospheric magnetized plasma and disrupted by the prior passage of energetic coronal mass ejections (CMEs). We carried out test-particle simulations of ∼GeV protons produced at a variety of distances from the M1Ve star AU Microscopii by coronal flares or traveling shocks. Particles are propagated within a large-scale quiescent three-dimensional magnetic field and stellar wind reconstructed from measured magnetograms, and within the same stellar environment following the passage of a 10 36 erg kinetic energy CME. In both cases, magnetic fluctuations with an isotropic power spectrum are overlayed onto the large-scale stellar magnetic field and particle propagation out to the two innnermost confirmed planets is examined. In the quiescent case, the magnetic field concentrates the particles into two regions near the ecliptic plane. After the passage of the CME, the closed field lines remain inflated and the reshuffled magnetic field remains highly compressed, shrinking the scattering mean free path of the particles. In the direction of propagation of the CME lobes the subsequent energetic particle (EP) flux is suppressed. Even for a CME front propagating out of the ecliptic plane, the EP flux along the planetary orbits highly fluctuates and peaks at ∼2–3 orders of magnitude higher than the average solar value at Earth, both in the quiescent and the post-CME cases.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Aims : This paper presents a H2020 project aimed at developing an advanced space weather forecasting tool, combining the MagnetoHydroDynamic (MHD) solar wind and coronal mass ejection (CME) evolution modelling with solar energetic particle (SEP) transport and acceleration model(s). The EUHFORIA 2.0 project will address the geoeffectiveness of impacts and mitigation to avoid (part of the) damage, including that of extreme events, related to solar eruptions, solar wind streams, and SEPs, with particular emphasis on its application to forecast geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) and radiation on geospace. Methods : We will apply innovative methods and state-of-the-art numerical techniques to extend the recent heliospheric solar wind and CME propagation model EUHFORIA with two integrated key facilities that are crucial for improving its predictive power and reliability, namely (1) data-driven flux-rope CME models, and (2) physics-based, self-consistent SEP models for the acceleration and transport of particles along and across the magnetic field lines. This involves the novel coupling of advanced space weather models. In addition, after validating the upgraded EUHFORIA/SEP model, it will be coupled to existing models for GICs and atmospheric radiation transport models. This will result in a reliable prediction tool for radiation hazards from SEP events, affecting astronauts, passengers and crew in high-flying aircraft, and the impact of space weather events on power grid infrastructure, telecommunication, and navigation satellites. Finally, this innovative tool will be integrated into both the Virtual Space Weather Modeling Centre (VSWMC, ESA) and the space weather forecasting procedures at the ESA SSCC in Ukkel (Belgium), so that it will be available to the space weather community and effectively used for improved predictions and forecasts of the evolution of CME magnetic structures and their impact on Earth. Results : The results of the first six months of the EU H2020 project are presented here. These concern alternative coronal models, the application of adaptive mesh refinement techniques in the heliospheric part of EUHFORIA, alternative flux-rope CME models, evaluation of data-assimilation based on Karman filtering for the solar wind modelling, and a feasibility study of the integration of SEP models. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    This paper presents a stochastic three-dimensional focused transport simulation of solar energetic particles (SEPs) produced by a data-driven coronal mass ejection (CME) shock propagating through a data-driven model of coronal and heliospheric magnetic fields. The injection of SEPs at the CME shock is treated using diffusive shock acceleration of post-shock suprathermal solar wind ions. A time-backward stochastic simulation is employed to solve the transport equation to obtain the SEP time–intensity profile at any location, energy, and pitch angle. The model is applied to a SEP event on 2020 May 29, observed by STEREO-A close to ∼1 au and by Parker Solar Probe (PSP) when it was about 0.33 au away from the Sun. The SEP event was associated with a very slow CME with a plane-of-sky speed of 337 km s−1at a height below 6RSas reported in the SOHO/LASCO CME catalog. We compute the time profiles of particle flux at PSP and STEREO-A locations, and estimate both the spectral index of the proton energy spectrum for energies between ∼2 and 16 MeV and the equivalent path length of the magnetic field lines experienced by the first arriving SEPs. We find that the simulation results are well correlated with observations. The SEP event could be explained by the acceleration of particles by a weak CME shock in the low solar corona that is not magnetically connected to the observers.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are large-scale eruptions with a typical radial size at 1 au of 0.21 au but their angular width in interplanetary space is still mostly unknown, especially for the magnetic ejecta (ME) part of the CME. We take advantage of STEREO-A angular separation of 20°–60° from the Sun–Earth line from 2020 October to 2022 August, and perform a two-part study to constrain the angular width of MEs in the ecliptic plane: (a) we study all CMEs that are observed remotely to propagate between the Sun–STEREO-A and the Sun–Earth lines and determine how many impact one or both spacecraft in situ, and (b) we investigate all in situ measurements at STEREO-A or at L1 of CMEs during the same time period to quantify how many are measured by the two spacecraft. A key finding is that out of 21 CMEs propagating within 30° of either spacecraft only four impacted both spacecraft and none provided clean magnetic cloud-like signatures at both spacecraft. Combining the two approaches, we conclude that the typical angular width of an ME at 1 au is ∼20°–30°, or 2–3 times less than often assumed and consistent with a 2:1 elliptical cross section of an ellipsoidal ME. We discuss the consequences of this finding for future multi-spacecraft mission designs and for the coherence of CMEs.

    more » « less
  4. 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
  5. Aims. We analyse particle, radio, and X-ray observations during the first relativistic proton event of solar cycle 25 detected on Earth. The aim is to gain insight into the relationship between relativistic solar particles detected in space and the processes of acceleration and propagation in solar eruptive events. Methods. To this end, we used ground-based neutron monitor measurements of relativistic nucleons and space-borne measurements of electrons with similar speed to determine the arrival times of the first particles at 1 AU and to infer their solar release times. We compared the release times with the time histories of non-thermal electrons in the solar atmosphere and their escape to interplanetary space, as traced by radio spectra and X-ray light curves and images. Results. Non-thermal electrons in the corona are found to be accelerated in different regions. Some are confined in closed magnetic structures expanding during the course of the event. Three episodes of electron escape to the interplanetary space are revealed by groups of decametric-to-kilometric type III bursts. The first group appears on the low-frequency side of a type II burst produced by a coronal shock wave. The two latter groups are accompanied at higher frequencies by bursts with rapid drifts to both lower and higher frequencies (forward- or reverse-drifting bursts). They are produced by electron beams that propagate both sunward and anti-sunward. The first relativistic electrons and nucleons observed near Earth are released with the third group of type III bursts, more than ten minutes after the first signatures of non-thermal electrons and of the formation of the shock wave in the corona. Although the eruptive active region is near the central meridian, several tens of degrees east of the footpoint of the nominal Parker spiral to the Earth, the kilometric spectrum of the type III bursts and the in situ detection of Langmuir waves demonstrate a direct magnetic connection between the L1 Lagrange point and the field lines onto which the electron beams are released at the Sun. Conclusions. We interpret the forward- and reverse-drifting radio bursts as evidence of reconnection between the closed expanding magnetic structures of an erupting flux rope and ambient open magnetic field lines. We discuss the origin of relativistic particles near the Earth across two scenarios: (1) acceleration at the CME-driven shock as it intercepts interplanetary magnetic field lines rooted in the western solar hemisphere and (2) an alternative where the relativistic particles are initially confined in the erupting magnetic fields and get access to the open field lines to the Earth through these reconnection events. 
    more » « less