Temporal Evolution of Heavy-Ion Spectra in Solar Energetic Particle Events

Doran, Donald Joseph, Dalla, Silvia orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7837-5780 and Zelina, Peter (2019) Temporal Evolution of Heavy-Ion Spectra in Solar Energetic Particle Events. Solar Physics, 294 (5). ISSN 0038-0938

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/S11207-019-1431-9


Solar energetic particles (SEPs) are released into the heliosphere by solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). They are mostly protons, with smaller amounts of heavy ions from helium to iron, and lesser amounts of species heavier than iron. The spectra of heavy ions have been previously studied mostly by using the fluence of the particles in an event-integrated spectrum in a small number of spectral snapshots. In this article, we ana- lyze the temporal evolution of the heavy-ion spectra using two large SEP events (27 January 2012 and 7 January 2014) from the Solar TErrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) era using Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) Solar Isotope Spectrometer (SIS) and Ultra Low Energy Isotope Spectrometer (ULEIS), Energetic Particles: Acceleration, Composition and Transport (EPACT) onboard Wind, and the STEREO-A (Ahead) and -B (Behind) Low- Energy Telescope (LET) and Suprathermal Ion Telescope (SIT) instruments, taking a large number of snapshots covering the temporal evolution of the event. We find large differences in the spectra of the ions after the main flux enhancement in terms of the grouping of similar species, but also in terms of the location of the instruments. Although it is somewhat less no- ticeable than in the case of the temporal evolution of protons (Doran and Dalla, Solar Phys. 291, 2071, 2016), we observe a wave-like pattern travelling through the heavy ion spectra from the highest energies to the lowest, creating an “arch” structure that later straightens into a power law after 18 to 24 hours.

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