Using Energetic Electron And Ion Observations to Investigate Solar Wind Structures and Infer Solar Wind Magnetic Field Configurations

Report from ISSI Team #469 Using Energetic Electron And Ion Observations To Investigate Solar Wind Structures And Infer Solar Wind Magnetic Field Configurations led by G. Li and L. Wang

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) represent some of the most energetic processes in the entire solar system. They are often associated with Solar Energetic Particle Events (SEP events) and are major concerns of space weather studies. When CMEs happen, they drive shock waves in front of them and charged particles are accelerated at the shock front through the diffusive shock acceleration mechanism. Protons and ions can be accelerated to the energy beyond 1 GeV/nuc in some of the most energetic SEP events. Understanding how particles are accelerated in these events and how these accelerated particles propagate to the Earth has been a central problem for space plasma physics.

Members in ISSI Team #469, including team leader Dr. G. Li and team member Dr. L. Zhao has recently won a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant through the ANSWERS program. This four-year, $2.301 million grant from the NSF started in July 2022 and will assist the PI and his team to develop a comprehensive scientific model to understand and predict how CMEs influence the energetic particle radiation environment in the inner solar system and Earth’s magnetosphere, and compare those results with measurements at the Earth’s surface. The grant supports a multidisciplinary team including UAH, the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and the National Solar Observatory. Dr Li and Dr. Zhao, from UAH and UM are PI and Co-PI of this grant. The propagation of energetic protons and ions in the solar wind follow the same interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) lines as those energetic electrons, and studying the configuration of the IMFs is the goal of the ISSI team 469. We expect our ISSI study will be of great value to the newly funded NSF ANSWERS program.

Press Release of the University from Alabama in Huntsville >>