EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 436, Number 2, June III 2005
Page(s) 711 - 717
Section The Sun
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20052716

A&A 436, 711-717 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20052716

Proton acceleration and its energy spectra during the coalescence of two cross current loops

J. I. Sakai and K. Shimada

Laboratory for Plasma Astrophysics Faculty of Engineering, Toyama University, 3190 Gofuku, Toyama 930-8555, Japan
    e-mail: sakaijun@eng.toyama-u.ac.jp

(Received 17 January 2005 / Accepted 7 February 2005 )

We investigate plasma dynamics during coalescence of two cross current loops by using a resistive three-dimensional MHD simulation code, paying particular attention to finding the most effective electromagnetic fields for producing high-energy protons. Next we investigate the orbit of many protons in the electromagnetic fields obtained from the MHD simulations and find that proton acceleration is more efficient compared with the case of two parallel loops coalescing. It is shown that the maximum proton energy is about 25 MeV, which exceeds the energy (2.223 MeV) of the observed prompt nuclear de-excitation lines of gamma-ray and that the proton energy spectrum is a power-law type with an index of about 2-2.3. The simulation results imply that proton-associated gamma-ray sources are located near the footpoints with magnetic north polarity. We found that strong proton acceleration leading to the observed prompt line gamma-ray emissions can be realized only when both poloidal and axial magnetic fields reconnect completely.

Key words: Sun: flares -- magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -- methods: numerical -- acceleration of particles

© ESO 2005