Volume 538, February 2012
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||30 January 2012|
Particle kinetic analysis of a polar jet from SECCHI COR data
1 Key Laboratory of Dark Matter and Space Astronomy, Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 210008 Nanjing, PR China
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Max-Planck-Str.2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
Received: 13 April 2011
Accepted: 25 November 2011
Aims. We analyze coronagraph observations of a polar jet observed by the Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation (SECCHI) instrument suite onboard the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft.
Methods. In our analysis we compare the brightness distribution of the jet in white-light coronagraph images with a dedicated kinetic particle model. We obtain a consistent estimate of the time that the jet was launched from the solar surface and an approximate initial velocity distribution in the jet source. The method also allows us to check the consistency of the kinetic model. In this first application, we consider only gravity as the dominant force on the jet particles along the magnetic field.
Results. We find that the kinetic model explains the observed brightness evolution well. The derived initiation time is consistent with the jet observations by the EUVI telescope at various wavelengths. The initial particle velocity distribution is fitted by Maxwellian distributions and we find deviations of the high-energy tail from the Maxwellian distributions. We estimated the jet’s total electron content to have a mass between 3.2 × 1014 and 1.8 × 1015 g. Mapping the integrated particle number along the jet trajectory to its source region and assuming a typical source region size, we obtain an initial electron density between 8 × 109 and 5 × 1010 cm-3 that is characteristic for the lower corona or the upper chromosphere. The total kinetic energy of all particles in the jet source region amounts from 2.1 × 1028 to 2.4 × 1029 erg.
Key words: Sun: activity / Sun: corona
© ESO, 2012
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