Solar Wind Shock simulation

Solar energetic particle (SEP) events represent one of the most severe hazards in space environment. These are dramatic increases of charged particle fluxes, mostly high energy (E<100 MeV) protons, lasting from a few hours to some days. SEPs are sporadic but more frequent during the years around the maximum of the Sun's 11-year activity cycle. The particles are thought to be accelerated at plasma shocks, driven through the interplanetary medium between the Sun and the Earth by solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Some of these CMEs are accompanied by a solar "flare". It is important to be able to predict when an event will occur at a particular location in the heliosphere (usually close to Earth), and how large an event will be, based on observation of the solar corona and the near-sun solar wind.

The University of Barcelona are developing models that describes the acceleration of energetic particles at shocks as they propagate within the heliosphere and how the particles accelerated near the shock leak into the solar wind and propagate throughout interplanetary space. It was partially sponsored by the Space Environments and Effects Section.

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