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Title: Dropouts in solar energetic particles: Associated with local trapping boundaries or current sheets?
Authors: A. Seripienlert
D. Ruffolo
W. H. Matthaeus
P. Chuychai
Mahidol University
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
Bartol Research Institute
Mae Fah Luang University
Keywords: Earth and Planetary Sciences;Physics and Astronomy
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2010
Citation: Astrophysical Journal. Vol.711, No.2 (2010), 980-989
Abstract: In recent observations by the Advanced Composition Explorer, the intensity of solar energetic particles exhibits sudden, large changes known as dropouts. These have been explained in terms of turbulence or a flux tube structure in the solar wind. Dropouts are believed to indicate filamentary magnetic connection to a localized particle source near the solar surface, and computer simulations of a random-phase model of magnetic turbulence have indicated a spatial association between dropout features and local trapping boundaries (LTBs) defined for a two-dimensional (2D) + slab model of turbulence. Previous observations have shown that dropout features are not well associated with sharp magnetic field changes, as might be expected in the flux tube model. Random-phase turbulence models do not properly treat sharp changes in the magnetic field, such as current sheets, and thus cannot be tested in this way. Here, we explore the properties of a more realistic magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence model (2D MHD), in which current sheets develop and the current and magnetic field have characteristic non-Gaussian statistical properties. For this model, computer simulations that trace field lines to determine magnetic connection from a localized particle source indicate that sharp particle gradients should frequently be associated with LTBs, sometimes with strong 2D magnetic fluctuations, and infrequently with current sheets. Thus, the 2D MHD + slab model of turbulent fluctuations includes some realistic features of the flux tube view and is consistent with the lack of an observed association between dropouts and intense magnetic fields or currents. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society.
ISSN: 15384357
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2006-2010

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