Publication: Correlation of Coronal Mass Ejection Shock Temperature with Solar Energetic Particle Intensity

March 21, 2024

Solar energetic particle (SEP) events have been observed by the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) spacecraft since its launch in 2018. These events include sources from solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The ISOIS instrument suite on board PSP is measuring ions over energies from ~20 keV nucleon-1 to 200 MeV nucleon-1 and electrons from ~20 keV to 6 MeV. Previous studies sought to group CME characteristics based on their plasma conditions and arrived at general descriptions with large statistical errors, leaving open questions on how to properly group CMEs based solely on their plasma conditions. To help resolve these open questions, the plasma properties of CMEs have been examined in relation to SEPs. Here, we reexamine one plasma property, the solar wind proton temperature, and compare it to the proton SEP intensity in a region immediately downstream of a CME-driven shock for seven CMEs observed at radial distances within 1 au. We find a statistically strong correlation between proton SEP intensity and bulk proton temperature, indicating a clear relationship between SEPs and the conditions in the solar wind. Furthermore, we propose that an indirect coupling of SEP intensity to the level of turbulence and the amount of energy dissipation that results is mainly responsible for the observed correlation between SEP intensity and proton temperature. These results are key to understanding the interaction of SEPs with the bulk solar wind in CME-driven shocks and will improve our ability to model the interplay of shock evolution and particle acceleration.

Link to article.