Variable Ion Compositions of Solar Energetic Particle Events in the Inner Heliosphere: A Field Line Braiding Model with Compound Injections

Fan Guo, Lulu Zhao, Christina M.S. Cohen, Joe Giacalone, R. A. Leske, M. E. Wiedenbeck, S. W. Kahler, Xiaocan Li, Qile Zhang, George C. Ho, Mihir I. Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We propose a model for interpreting highly variable ion composition ratios in solar energetic particle (SEP) events recently observed by the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) at 0.3-0.45 au. We use numerical simulations to calculate SEP propagation in a turbulent interplanetary magnetic field with a Kolmogorov power spectrum from large scales down to the gyration scale of energetic particles. We show that when the source regions of different species are offset by a distance comparable to the size of the source regions, the observed energetic particle composition He/H can be strongly variable over more than two orders of magnitude, even if the source ratio is at the nominal value. Assuming a 3He/4He source ratio of 10% in impulsive 3He-rich events and the same spatial offset of the source regions, the 3He/4He ratio at observation sites also vary considerably. The variability of the ion composition ratios depends on the radial distance, which can be tested by observations made at different radial locations. We discuss the implications of these results on the variability of ion composition of impulsive events and on further PSP and Solar Orbiter observations close to the Sun.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume924
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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