Effects of Coronal Magnetic Field Structures on the Transport of Solar Energetic Particles
Zhao, Lulu L.
MetadataShow full item record
This Letter presents a model calculation of solar energetic particle (SEP) transport to test the sensitivity of the distribution of escaped SEPs in interplanetary space and dependence upon the details of the magnetic field structure in the corona. It is applied to a circumsolar event on 2011 November 3, in which SEPs are observed promptly after the solar event eruption by three spacecraft (the twin Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatories (STEREO-A and STEREO-B) and ACE) separated by more than 100° in longitude from each other. The corona magnetic field reconstructed from photosphseric field measurements using the PFSS method changes substantially before and after the solar eruption, especially around the active region. The locations of open field regions, separatrix surfaces including the heliospheric current sheet, and footpoints of magnetic field lines connected to the spacecraft location have shifted substantially. We inject 100 keV energetic electrons on the open field lines at 1.5 R s within the size of observed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and follow their propagation in the corona and the interplanetary space. We find that with a perpendicular diffusion due to field line random walk equal to 10% of the supergranular diffusion rate, the overall distribution of escaped SEPs does not change much even though the region of open field lines from SEPs has changed. The result suggests that detailed small-scale coronal magnetic field structures and the exact magnetic field connection are not crucially important for observing SEPs in the interplanetary space.