Temporal evolution of solar energetic particle spectra

Doran, Donald Joseph and Dalla, Silvia orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7837-5780 (2016) Temporal evolution of solar energetic particle spectra. Solar Physics, 291 (7). pp. 2071-2097. ISSN 0038-0938

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11207-016-0956-4


During solar flares and coronal mass ejections, solar energetic par- ticles (SEPs) may be released into the interplanetary medium and near-Earth locations. The energy spectra of SEP events at 1 AU are typically averaged over the entire event or studied in a few snapshots. In this paper we analyze the time evolution of the energy spectra of four large selected SEP events using a large number of snapshots. We use a multi-spacecraft and multi-instrument approach for the observations, obtained over a wide SEP energy range. We find large differences in the spectra at the beginning of the events as measured by different instruments. We show that over time, a wave-like structure is observed traveling through the spectra from the highest energies to the lowest energies, creating an “arch” shape which then straightens into a power law later in the event, after times of the order of 10 hours. We discuss the processes that determine SEP intensities and their role in shaping the spectral time evolution.

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