Origin of wide-band IP type II bursts⋆
1 Tuorla Observatory, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Turku, Piikkiö, Finland
2 Department of Physics, Thi Qar University, Nasryia, Iraq
3 Space Research Laboratory, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Received: 2 November 2012
Accepted: 6 July 2013
Context. Different types of interplanetary (IP) type II bursts have been observed, where the more usual ones show narrow-band and patchy emissions, sometimes with harmonics, and which at intervals may disappear completely from the dynamic spectrum. The more unusual bursts are wide-band and diffuse, show no patches or breaks or harmonic emission, and often have long durations. Type II bursts are thought to be plasma emission, caused by propagating shock waves, but a synchrotron-emitting source has also been proposed as the origin for the wide-band type IIs.
Aims. Our aim is to find out where the wide-band IP type II bursts originate and what is their connection to particle acceleration.
Methods. We analyzed in detail 25 solar events that produced well-separated, wide-band IP type II bursts in 2001–2011. Their associations to flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and solar energetic particle events (SEPs) were investigated.
Results. Of the 25 bursts, 18 were estimated to have heights corresponding to the CME leading fronts, suggesting that they were created by bow shocks ahead of the CMEs. However, seven events were found in which the burst heights were significantly lower and which showed a different type of height-time evolution. Almost all the analyzed wide-band type II bursts were associated with very high-speed CMEs, originating from different parts of the solar hemisphere. In terms of SEP associations, many of the SEP events were weak, had poor connectivity due to the eastern limb source location, or were masked by previous events. Some of the events had precursors in specific energy ranges. These properties and conditions affected the intensity-time profiles and made the injection-time-based associations with the type II bursts difficult to interpret. In several cases where the SEP injection times could be determined, the radio dynamic spectra showed other features (in addition to the wide-band type II bursts) that could be signatures of shock fronts.
Conclusions. We conclude that in most cases (in 18 out of 25 events) the wide-band IP type II bursts can be plasma emission, formed at or just above the CME leading edge. The results for the remaining seven events might suggest the possibility of a synchrotron source. These events, however, occurred during periods of high solar activity, and coronal conditions affecting the results of the burst height calculations cannot be ruled out. The observed wide and diffuse emission bands may also indicate specific CME leading edge structures and special shock conditions.
Key words: Sun: radio radiation / Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) / shock waves / plasmas
Figures 2–26 and Table 4 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2013