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Use of incident and reflected solar particle beams to trace the topology of magnetic clouds

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • Lun C. Tan
  • Olga E. Malandraki
  • Donald V. Reames
  • Chee K. Ng
  • Linghua Wang
  • Gareth Dorrian
Article number146
Journal publication date10/05/2012
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Journal number2
Volume750
Number of pages22
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Occasionally, large solar energetic particle (SEP) events occur inside magnetic clouds (MCs). In this work, the onset time analysis, the peak intensity analysis, and the decay phase analysis of SEPs are used to investigate two large SEP events inside MCs: the 1998 May 2 and 2002 April 21 events. The onset time analysis of non-relativistic electrons and similar to MeV nucleon(-1) heavy ions shows the stability of the magnetic loop structure during a period of a few hours in the events examined. The joint analysis of pitch-angle distributions and peak intensities of electrons exhibits that, depending on the particle pitch angle observed at 1 AU, in the April event the reflection point of particles may be distributed along a wide spatial range, implying that the magnetic loop is a magnetic bottle connected to the Sun with both legs. In contrast, in the May event particle reflection occurs abruptly at the magnetic mirror formed by a compressed field enhancement behind the interplanetary shock, consistent with its open field line topology.