EVIDENCE for ENHANCED 3HE in FLARE-ACCELERATED PARTICLES BASED on NEW CALCULATIONS of the GAMMA-RAY LINE SPECTRUM

R. J. Murphy, B. Kozlovsky, G. H. Share

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

The 3He abundance in impulsive solar energetic particle (SEP) events is enhanced up to several orders of magnitude compared to its photospheric value of [3He]/[4He] = 1-3 ×10-4. Interplanetary magnetic field and timing observations suggest that these events are related to solar flares. Observations of 3He in flare-accelerated ions would clarify the relationship between these two phenomena. Energetic 3He interactions in the solar atmosphere produce gamma-ray nuclear-deexcitation lines, both lines that are also produced by protons and α particles and lines that are essentially unique to 3He. Gamma-ray spectroscopy can, therefore, reveal enhanced levels of accelerated 3He. In this paper, we identify all significant deexcitation lines produced by 3He interactions in the solar atmosphere. We evaluate their production cross sections and incorporate them into our nuclear deexcitation-line code. We find that enhanced 3He can affect the entire gamma-ray spectrum. We identify gamma-ray line features for which the yield ratios depend dramatically on the 3He abundance. We determine the accelerated 3He/α ratio by comparing these ratios with flux ratios measured previously from the gamma-ray spectrum obtained by summing the 19 strongest flares observed with the Solar Maximum Mission Gamma-Ray Spectrometer. All six flux ratios investigated show enhanced 3He, confirming earlier suggestions. The 3He/α weighted mean of these new measurements ranges from 0.05 to 0.3 (depending on the assumed accelerated α/proton ratio) and has a <1 ×10-3 probability of being consistent with the photospheric value. With the improved code, we can now exploit the full potential of gamma-ray spectroscopy to establish the relationship between flare-accelerated ions and 3He-rich SEPs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number196
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume833
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2016

Funding

FundersFunder number
Chief of Naval Research
National Science Foundation
National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNNH13AV36I
Shine1156092
Israel Science Foundation

    Keywords

    • Sun: X-rays, gamma rays
    • Sun: abundances
    • Sun: chromosphere
    • Sun: flares
    • Sun: particle emission
    • interplanetary medium

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'EVIDENCE for ENHANCED 3HE in FLARE-ACCELERATED PARTICLES BASED on NEW CALCULATIONS of the GAMMA-RAY LINE SPECTRUM'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this