Chollet, E. E., Giacalone, J., Skoug, R. M., Steinberg, J. T., and Gosling,
"Spatial Offsets of Interplanetary Ion and Electron Source Regions,"
ApJ 705, 1492 (2009).
Energetic charged particles observed far from the Sun sometimes appear to come in distinct streams, which suggests that their guiding magnetic fields are in distinct domains (flux tubes). Astonishingly, different particles in the same event may populate different wandering flux tubes! This cartoon (and its companion, not reproduced here) explain it all. The gray circle is the Sun, and the blue and red patches are source regions of different particles. The paper suggests that these may themselves differ, which would explain their distinct interplanetary domains. By observations like this, done much better of course, we might figure out how the particles actually got accelerated.
January 21, 2009
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