Articles | Volume 18, issue 2
29 Feb 2000
29 Feb 2000

Probing the magnetic topology of coronal mass ejections by means of Ulysses/HI-SCALE energetic particle observations

O. Malandraki, E. T. Sarris, and P. Trochoutsos

Abstract. In this work, solar flare energetic particle fluxes (Ee ≥ 42 keV) observed by the HI-SCALE instrument onboard Ulysses, a spacecraft that is probing the heliosphere in 3-D, are utilized as diagnostics of the large-scale structure and topology of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) embedded within two well-identified interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) structures. On the basis of the energetic solar flare particle observations firm conclusions are drawn on whether the detected ICMEs have been detached from the solar corona or are still magnetically anchored to it when they arrive at 2.5 AU. From the development of the angular distributions of the particle intensities, we have inferred that portions of the ICMEs studied consisted of both open and closed magnetic field lines. Both ICMEs present a filamentary structure comprising magnetic filaments with distinct electron anisotropy characteristics. Subsequently, we studied the evolution of the anisotropies of the energetic electrons along the magnetic field loop-like structure of one ICME and computed the characteristic decay time of the anisotropy which is a measure of the amount of scattering that the trapped electron population underwent after injection at the Sun.

Key words: Interplanetary physics (energetic particles; interplanetary magnetic fields)