4 research outputs found

    First Image of the Sun with MeerKAT Solar Observations: Opening a New Frontier in Solar Physics

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    Solar radio emissions provide several unique diagnostics to estimate different physical parameters of the solar corona, which are otherwise simply inaccessible. However, imaging the highly dynamic solar coronal emissions spanning a large range of angular scales at radio wavelengths is extremely challenging. At GHz frequencies, the MeerKAT radio telescope is possibly globally the best-suited instrument at the present time and can provide high-fidelity spectroscopic snapshot solar images. Here, we present the first images of the Sun made using the observations with the MeerKAT at L-band (856 -- 1711 MHz). This work demonstrates the high fidelity of the MeerKAT solar images through a comparison with simulated radio images at the MeerKAT frequencies. The observed images show extremely good mophological similarities with the simulated images. A detailed comparison between the simulated radio map and observed MeerKAT radio images demonstrates that there is significant missing flux density in MeerKAT images at the higher frequencies of the observing band, though it can potentially be estimated and corrected for. We believe once solar observations with the MeerKAT are commissioned, they will not only enable a host of novel studies but also open the door to a large unexplored phase space with significant discovery potential.Comment: Preparing for submission, 14 pages, 9 figure

    Review of solar energetic particle models

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    Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) events are interesting from a scientific perspective as they are the product of a broad set of physical processes from the corona out through the extent of the heliosphere, and provide insight into processes of particle acceleration and transport that are widely applicable in astrophysics. From the operations perspective, SEP events pose a radiation hazard for aviation, electronics in space, and human space exploration, in particular for missions outside of the Earth’s protective magnetosphere including to the Moon and Mars. Thus, it is critical to improve the scientific understanding of SEP events and use this understanding to develop and improve SEP forecasting capabilities to support operations. Many SEP models exist or are in development using a wide variety of approaches and with differing goals. These include computationally intensive physics-based models, fast and light empirical models, machine learning-based models, and mixed-model approaches. The aim of this paper is to summarize all of the SEP models currently developed in the scientific community, including a description of model approach, inputs and outputs, free parameters, and any published validations or comparisons with data.</p

    The soft X-ray Neupert effect as a proxy for solar energetic particle injection

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    The acceleration and injection of solar energetic particles (SEPs) near the Sun is one of the major unsolved problems in contemporary SEP transport modeling efforts. Here, we establish a new approach to the injection problem by utilizing a correlation between the soft X-ray thermal emission in solar flares, and their hard X-ray counterpart, the so-called Neupert effect, which is indicative of the presence of non-thermal particles. We show that the resulting injection function, in the initial phase of the flare, is similar to those inferred from inverting the transport problem based on in-situ observations. For few cases, we find early injections with no in-situ correspondence, that can be caused by particles accelerated before there is a magnetic connection between the source and the spacecraft. The method has limitations for long-duration injections, since it is not applicable to the decay phase of the flare where particle trapping might play a role. For a sample of SEP events in 1980, observed with the Helios-1 and IMP8 spacecraft, we show the results of a 2D SEP transport model based on this approach. We discuss that, with this method, a physics-based, real-time operational SEP now-cast model for the heliosphere is feasible

    Review of Solar Energetic Particle Models

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    Solar Energetic Particles (SEP) events are interesting from a scientific perspective as they are the product of a broad set of physical processes from the corona out through the extent of the heliosphere, and provide insight into processes of particle acceleration and transport that are widely applicable in astrophysics. From the operations perspective, SEP events pose a radiation hazard for aviation, electronics in space, and human space exploration, in particular for missions outside of the Earth’s protective magnetosphere including to the Moon and Mars. Thus, it is critical to imific understanding of SEP events and use this understanding to develop and improve SEP forecasting capabilities to support operations. Many SEP models exist or are in development using a wide variety of approaches and with differing goals. These include computationally intensive physics-based models, fast and light empirical models, machine learning-based models, and mixed-model approaches. The aim of this paper is to summarize all of the SEP models currently developed in the scientific community, including a description of model approach, inputs and outputs, free parameters, and any published validations or comparisons with data
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