Multiple injections of energetic electrons associated with the flare and CME event on 9 October 2021


Context. We study the solar energetic particle (SEP) event observed on 9 October 2021 by multiple spacecraft, including Solar Orbiter. The event was associated with an M1.6 flare, a coronal mass ejection, and a shock wave. During the event, high-energy protons and electrons were recorded by multiple instruments located within a narrow longitudinal cone. Aims. An interesting aspect of the event was the multi-stage particle energisation during the flare impulsive phase and also what appears to be a separate phase of electron acceleration detected at Solar Orbiter after the flare maximum. We aim to investigate and identify the multiple sources of energetic electron acceleration. Methods. We utilised SEP electron observations from the Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) and hard X-ray (HXR) observations from the Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) on board Solar Orbiter, in combination with radio observations at a broad frequency range. We focused on establishing an association between the energetic electrons and the different HXR and radio emissions associated with the multiple acceleration episodes. Results. We find that the flare was able to accelerate electrons for at least 20 min during the non-thermal phase, observed in the form of five discrete HXR pulses. We also show evidence that the shock wave contributed to the electron acceleration during and after the impulsive flare phase. The detailed analysis of EPD electron data shows that there was a time difference in the release of low- and high-energy electrons, with the high-energy release delayed. Also, the observed electron anisotropy characteristics suggest a different connectivity during the two phases of acceleration.

Astronomy & Astrophysics