AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 37. CMEs and Prominences
Display, Tuesday, June 4, 2002, 10:00am-6:30pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[37.02] Solar Energetic Particle Production by Shocks in Fast and Slow Solar Wind Structures

S.W. Kahler (Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate), D.V. Reames (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), N.R. Sheeley, Jr. (Naval Research Laboratory)

Gradual solar energetic particle (SEP) events at 1 AU are produced by coronal and interplanetary shocks driven by coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Shocks from fast (V > 900 km/s) CMEs should be produced more easily in slow solar wind regions where the flow and fast-mode MHD wave speeds are low and less easily in fast solar wind regions where those speeds are high. We might therefore expect to observe more intense SEP events at 1 AU when the Earth lies in a slow wind region than when it lies in a fast wind region. While stream-stream interactions wash out the slow-fast stream boundaries in the solar wind speed profiles at 1 AU, the O+7/O+6 signatures of the streams are unchanged at 1 AU. We use the 20 MeV proton intensities from the EPACT instrument on Wind, the associated CMEs observed with the Lasco coronagraph on SOHO, and the ACE SWICS/SWIMS solar wind values of O+7/O+6 to look for variations of peak SEP intensities as a function of O+7/O+6. We find no significant dependence of the SEP intensities on O+7/O+6 for either poorly connected or well connected CME source regions or for different CME speed ranges. While a broad range of angular widths are associated with fast (V > 900 km/s) CMEs, we find that no fast CMEs with widths < 60 degrees are associated with SEP events. On the other hand, nearly all fast halo CMEs are associated with SEP events. Thus the CME widths are more important in SEP production than previously thought, but the solar wind source regions in which SEPs are produced are not a significant factor.

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