Spatial expansion and speeds of type III electron beam sources in the solar corona

Reid, H. A.S. and Kontar, E. P. (2018) Spatial expansion and speeds of type III electron beam sources in the solar corona. Astrophysical Journal, 867(2), 158. (doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/aae5d4)

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A component of space weather, electron beams are routinely accelerated in the solar atmosphere and propagate through interplanetary space. Electron beams interact with Langmuir waves resulting in type III radio bursts. Electron beams expand along the trajectory, and using kinetic simulations, we explore the expansion as the electrons propagate away from the Sun. Specifically, we investigate the front, peak and back of the electron beam in space from derived radio brightness temperatures of fundamental type III emission. The front of the electron beams travelled at speeds from 0.2c--0.7c, significantly faster than the back of the beam that travelled between 0.12c--0.35c. The difference in speed between the front and the back elongates the electron beams in time. The rate of beam elongation has a 0.98 correlation coefficient with the peak velocity; in-line with predictions from type III observations. The inferred speeds of electron beams initially increase close to the acceleration region and then decrease through the solar corona. Larger starting densities and harder initial spectral indices result in longer and faster type III sources. Faster electron beams have higher beam energy densities, produce type IIIs with higher peak brightness temperatures and shorter FWHM durations. Higher background plasma temperatures also increase speeds, particularly at the back of the beam. We show how our predictions of electron beam evolution influences type III bandwidth and drift-rates. Our radial predictions of electron beam speed and expansion can be tested by the upcoming in situ electron beam measurements made by Solar Orbiter and Parker Solar Probe.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kontar, Professor Eduard and Reid, Dr Hamish
Authors: Reid, H. A.S., and Kontar, E. P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Astrophysical Journal
Publisher:American Astronomical Society
ISSN (Online):1538-4357
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 American Astronomical Society
First Published:First published in Astrophysical Journal 867(2):158
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
728901Consolidated Grant in Solar PhysicsLyndsay FletcherScience & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/P000533/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
652881Simulating Sun-Earth Solar Radio BurstsHamish ReidThe Royal Society (ROYSOC)RG130642S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY