Kozarev, Kamen A., Raymond, John C., Lobzin, V. V., and Hammer, M. 2015. "Properties of a Coronal Shock Wave as a Driver of Early SEP Acceleration." The Astrophysical Journal 799:167. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/799/2/167
Coronal mass ejectmons (CMEs) are thought to drive collisionless shocks in the solar corona, which in turn have been shown to be capable of accelerating solar energetic particles (SEPs) in minutes. It has been notoriously difficult to extract information about energetic particle spectra in the corona, owing to a lack of in situ measurements. It is possible, however, to combine remote observations with data-driven models in order to deduce coronal shock properties relevant to the local acceleration of SEPs and their heliospheric connectivity to near-Earth space. We present such novel analysis applied to the 2011 May 11 CME event on the western solar limb, focusing on the evolution of the eruption-driven, dome-like shock wave observed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) EUV telescopes on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft. We analyze the shock evolution and estimate its strength using emission measure modeling. We apply a new method combining a geometric model of the shock front with a potential field source surface model to estimate time-dependent field-to-shock angles and heliospheric connectivity during shock passage in the low corona. We find that the shock was weak, with an initial speed of ~450 km s–1. It was initially mostly quasi-parallel, but a significant portion of it turned quasi-perpendicular later in the event. There was good magnetic connectivity to near-Earth space toward the end of the event as observed by the AIA instrument. The methods used in this analysis hold a significant potential for early characterization of coronal shock waves and forecasting of SEP spectra based on remote observations.