AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 65. The Magnetic Structure of CMEs
SPD Topical Session Oral, Wednesday, June 5, 2002, 2:30-4:00pm, 4:15-6:00pm, Ruidoso/Pecos

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[65.10] Tracing Magnetic Field Lines in ICMEs Using Charged Particles

S. W. Kahler (Air Force Research Laboratory)

Suprathermal charged particles are constrained to follow magnetic field lines in the interplanetary medium and can be used as diagnostics of magnetic field structures. Early work with solar energetic proton events precluded the interpretation of magnetic clouds as magnetically disconnected plasmoids. Recent work with solar wind heat flux electrons has provided us with a tool for detecting ICMEs through bi-directional flows arising from their magnetically closed structures. In addition, the heat flux electrons reveal the polarities of the interplanetary fields and allow us to locate the ICMEs in the context of the heliospheric current sheet and to understand how the large-scale interplanetary dipolar field is modulated by ICMEs. We find that the field polarities of the ICMEs strongly match those of the ambient interplanetary fields into which they erupt. Recent statistical results on ICMEs indicate how the conversion of closed to open fields occurs as the ICMEs propagate away from the Sun. The basic techniques and caveats of using charged particles as field line tracers will be discussed.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.