Current sheet regulation of solar near-relativistic electron injection histories

Agueda, N, Vainio, R, Dalla, Silvia orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7837-5780, Lario, D and Sanahuja, B (2013) Current sheet regulation of solar near-relativistic electron injection histories. The Astrophysical Journal, 765 (2). p. 83. ISSN 0004-637X

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We present a sample of three large near-relativistic (>50 keV) electron events observed in 2001 by both the ACE and the Ulysses spacecraft, when Ulysses was at high-northern latitudes (>60°) and close to 2 AU. Despite the large latitudinal distance between the two spacecraft, electrons injected near the Sun reached both heliospheric locations. All three events were associated with large solar flares, strong decametric type II radio bursts and accompanied by wide (>212°) and fast (>1400 km s-1) coronal mass ejections (CMEs). We use advanced interplanetary transport simulations and make use of the directional intensities observed in situ by the spacecraft to infer the electron injection profile close to the Sun and the interplanetary transport conditions at both low and high latitudes. For the three selected events, we find similar interplanetary transport conditions at different heliolatitudes for a given event, with values of the mean free path ranging from 0.04 AU to 0.27 AU. We find differences in the injection profiles inferred for each spacecraft. We investigate the role that sector boundaries of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) have on determining the characteristics of the electron injection profiles. Extended injection profiles, associated with coronal shocks, are found if the magnetic footpoints of the spacecraft lay in the same magnetic sector as the associated flare, while intermittent sparse injection episodes appear when the spacecraft footpoints are in the opposite sector or a wrap in the HCS bounded the CME structure. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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