Radio signatures of shock-accelerated electron beams in the solar corona
1 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
2 National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Institute of Radio Astronomy of NAS, 4 Chervonopraporna Str., 61002 Kharkov, Ukraine
3 Commission for Astronomy, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstrasse 6, 8042 Graz, Austria
4 Poltava Gravimetrical Observatory of Institute of Geophysics of NASU, Myasoedova, 27/29, 36014 Poltava, Ukraine
Received: 2 February 2017
Accepted: 11 November 2017
Context. The Sun’s activity can appear in terms of radio bursts. In the frequency range 8−33 MHz the radio telescope URAN-2 observed special fine structures appearing as a chain of stripes of enhanced radio emission in the dynamic radio spectrum. The chain drifts slowly from 26 to 23 MHz within 4 min. The individual structures consist of a “head” at the high-frequency edge and a “tail” rapidly drifting from the “head” to lower frequencies over an extent of ≈10 MHz within 8 s. Since they resemble the well-known “herring bones” in type II radio bursts, they are interpreted as shock accelerated electron beams.
Aims. The electron beams generating these fine structures are considered to be produced by shock drift acceleration (SDA). The beam electrons excite Langmuir waves which are converted into radio waves by nonlinear wave-plasma processes. That is called plasma emission. The aim of this paper is to link the radio spectral data of these fine structures to the theoretical results in order to gain a better understanding of the generation of energetic electrons by shocks in the solar corona.
Methods. Adopting SDA for generating energetic electrons, the accelerated electrons establish a beam-like velocity distribution. Plasma emission requires the excitation of Langmuir waves, which is efficient if the velocity of the beam electrons exceeds a few times thermal electron speed. That is the case if the angle between the shock normal and the upstream magnetic field is nearly perpendicular. Hence, the Rankine-Hugoniot relationships, which describe the shock transition in the framework of magnetohydrodynamics, are evaluated for the special case of nearly perpendicular shocks under coronal circumstances.
Results. The radio data deduced from the dynamic radio spectrum can be related in the best way to the theoretical results, if the electron beams, which generate these fine structures, are generated via SDA at an almost perpendicular shock, which is traveling nearly horizontally to the surface of the Sun.
Key words: Sun: flares / Sun: radio radiation / Sun: particle emission / shock waves / acceleration of particles / plasmas
© ESO, 2017