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  • Cairns, Iver H.; Kozarev, Kamen A.; Nitta, Nariaki V.; Agueda, Neus; Battarbee, Markus; Carley, Eoin P.; Dresing, Nina; Gomez-Herrero, Raul; Klein, Karl-Ludwig; Lario, David; Pomoell, Jens; Salas-Matamoros, Carolina; Veronig, Astrid M.; Li, Bo; McCauley, Patrick (2020)
    Solar energetic particles (SEPs) are an important product of solar activity. They are connected to solar active regions and flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), EUV waves, shocks, Type II and III radio emissions, and X-ray bursts. These phenomena are major probes of the partition of energy in solar eruptions, as well as for the organization, dynamics, and relaxation of coronal and interplanetary magnetic fields. Many of these phenomena cause terrestrial space weather, posing multiple hazards for humans and their technology from space to the ground. Since particular flares, shocks, CMEs, and EUV waves produce SEP events but others do not, since propagation effects from the low corona to 1 AU appear important for some events but not others, and since Type II and III radio emissions and X-ray bursts are sometimes produced by energetic particles leaving these acceleration sites, it is necessary to study the whole system with a multi-frequency and multi-instrument perspective that combines both in-situ and remote observations with detailed modeling of phenomena. This article demonstrates this comprehensive approach and shows its necessity by analyzing a trio of unusual and striking solar eruptions, radio and X-ray bursts, and SEP events that occurred on 4 November 2015. These events show both strong similarities and differences from standard events and each other, despite having very similar interplanetary conditions and only two flare sites and CME genesis regions. They are therefore major targets for further in-depth observational studies, and for testing both existing and new theories and models. We present the complete suite of relevant observations, complement them with initial modeling results for the SEPs and interplanetary magnetic connectivity, and develop a plausible scenario for the eruptions. Perhaps controversially, the SEPs appear to be reasonably modelled and evidence points to significant non-Parker magnetic fields. Based on the very limited modeling available, we identify the aspects that are and are not understood, and we discuss ideas that may lead to improved understanding of the SEP, radio, and space-weather events.
  • Kalliokoski, Milla M. H.; Kilpua, Emilia K. J.; Osmane, Adnane; Turner, Drew L.; Jaynes, Allison N.; Turc, Lucile; George, Harriet; Palmroth, Minna (2020)
    The energetic electron content in the Van Allen radiation belts surrounding the Earth can vary dramatically at several timescales, and these strong electron fluxes present a hazard for spacecraft traversing the belts. The belt response to solar wind driving is, however, largely unpredictable, and the direct response to specific large-scale heliospheric structures has not been considered previously. We investigate the immediate response of electron fluxes in the outer belt that are driven by sheath regions preceding interplanetary coronal mass ejections and the associated wave activity in the inner magnetosphere. We consider the events recorded from 2012 to 2018 in the Van Allen Probes era to utilise the energy- and radial-distance-resolved electron flux observations of the twin spacecraft mission. We perform a statistical study of the events by using the superposed epoch analysis in which the sheaths are superposed separately from the ejecta and resampled to the same average duration. Our results show that the wave power of ultra-low frequency Pc5 and electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves, as measured by a Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), is higher during the sheath than during the ejecta. However, the level of chorus wave power, as measured by the Van Allen Probes, remains approximately the same due to similar substorm activity during the sheath and ejecta. Electron flux enhancements are common at low energies (<1 MeV) throughout the outer belt (L = 3-6), whereas depletion predominantly occurs at high energies for high radial distances (L > 4). It is distinctive that the depletion extends to lower energies at larger distances. We suggest that this L-shell and energy-dependent depletion results from the magnetopause shadowing that dominates the losses at large distances, while the wave-particle interactions dominate closer to the Earth. We also show that non-geoeffective sheaths cause significant changes in the outer belt electron fluxes.
  • Kalliokoski, Milla; Kilpua, Emilia; Osmane, Adnane; Jaynes, Allison N.; Turner, Drew L.; George, Harriet; Turc, Lucile; Palmroth, Minna (2022)
    Coronal mass ejection driven sheath regions are one of the key drivers of drastic outer radiation belt responses. The response can however be significantly different based on the sheath properties and the associated inner magnetospheric wave activity. We performed two case studies on the effects of sheaths on outer belt electrons of various energies using data from the Van Allen Probes. One sheath caused a major geomagnetic disturbance and the other had only a minor impact. We especially investigated the phase space density (PSD) of seed, core, and ultrarelativistic electrons to determine the dominant energization and loss processes taking place during the events. Both sheaths produced substantial variation in the electron fluxes from tens of kiloelectronvolts up to ultrarelativistic energies. The responses were however the opposite: the geoeffective sheath mainly led to enhancement, while the nongeoeffective one caused a depletion throughout most of the outer belt. The case studies highlight that both inward and outward radial transport driven by ultra-low frequency waves played an important role in both electron energization and loss. Additionally, PSD radial profiles revealed a local peak that indicated significant acceleration to core energies by chorus waves during the geoeffective event. The distinct responses and different mechanisms in action during these events were related to the timing of the peaked solar wind dynamic pressure causing magnetopause compression, and the differing levels of substorm activity. The most remarkable changes in the radiation belt system occurred in key sheath sub-regions near the shock and the ejecta leading edge.
  • Turner, D. L.; Kilpua, E. K. J.; Hietala, H.; Claudepierre, S. G.; O'Brien, T. P.; Fennell, J. F.; Blake, J. B.; Jaynes, A. N.; Kanekal, S.; Baker, D. N.; Spence, H. E.; Ripoll, J.-F.; Reeves, G. D. (2019)
    A statistical study was conducted of Earth's radiation belt electron response to geomagnetic storms using NASA's Van Allen Probes mission. Data for electrons with energies ranging from 30 keV to 6.3 MeV were included and examined as a function of L-shell, energy, and epoch time during 110 storms with SYM-H 1 MeV also revealed a marked increase in likelihood of a depletion at all L-shells through the outer belt (3.5 1-MeV electrons throughout the outer belt, while storms driven by full CMEs and stream interaction regions are most likely to produce an enhancement of MeV electrons at lower (L <similar to 5) and higher (L > similar to 4.5) L-shells, respectively. CME sheaths intriguingly result in a distinct enhancement of similar to 1-MeV electrons around L similar to 5.5, and on average, CME sheaths and stream interaction regions result in double outer belt structures.