The effect of shock wave properties on the release timings of solar energetic particles


Context. Fast and wide coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and CME-driven shock waves are capable of accelerating solar energetic particles (SEPs) and releasing them in very distant locations in the solar corona and near-Sun interplanetary space. SEP events have a variety of characteristics in their release times and particle anisotropies. In some events, specifics of the SEP release times are thought to be difficult to reconcile with the scenario that a propagating shock wave is responsible for the SEP release. Aims. Despite the apparent difficulties posed by the shock scenario, many studies have not considered the properties of the propagating shock waves when making a connection with SEP release. This could probably resolve some of the issues and would help us to delve into and understand more important issues such as the effect of the shock acceleration efficiency on the observed characteristics of the SEP timings and the role of particle transport. This study aims to approach these issues from the shock wave perspective and elucidate some of these aspects. Methods. We constructed a simple 2D geometrical model to describe the propagation and longitudinal extension of a disturbance. We used this model to examine the longitudinal extension of the wave front from the eruption site as a function of time, to calculate the connection times as a function of the longitudinal separation angle, and to determine the shock parameters at any connection point. We examined how the kinematic and geometric properties of the disturbance could affect the timings of the SEP releases at different heliolongitudes. Results. We show that the extension of a wave close to the solar surface may not always indicate when a magnetic connection is established for the first time. The first connection times depend on both the kinematics and geometry of the propagating wave. A shock-related SEP release process can produce a large event-to-event variation in the relationship between the connection and release times and the separation angle to the eruption site. The evolution of the shock geometry and shock strength at the field lines connected to an observer are important parameters for the observed characteristic of the release times

Astronomy & Astrophysics