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Published February 2020 | Accepted Version + Published
Journal Article Open

Energetic Particle Observations from the Parker Solar Probe Using Combined Energy Spectra from the IS⊙IS Instrument Suite


The Integrated Science Investigations of the Sun (IS⊙IS) instrument suite includes two Energetic Particle instruments: EPI-Hi, designed to measure ions from ~1 to 200 MeV nuc⁻¹, and EPI-Lo, designed to measure ions from ~20 to ~15 MeV nuc⁻¹. We present an analysis of eight energetic proton events observed across the energy range of both instruments during Parker Solar Probe's (PSP) first two orbits in order to examine their combined energy spectra. Background corrections are applied to help resolve spectral breaks between the two instruments and are shown to be effective. In doing so we demonstrate that even in the early stages of calibration, IS⊙IS is capable of producing reliable spectral observations across broad energy ranges. In addition to making groundbreaking measurements very near the Sun, IS⊙IS also characterizes energetic particle populations over a range of heliocentric distances inside 1 au. During the first two orbits, IS⊙IS observed energetic particle events from a single corotating interaction region (CIR) at three different distances from the Sun. The events are separated by two Carrington rotations and just 0.11 au in distance; however, the relationship shown between proton intensities and proximity of the spacecraft to the source region shows evidence of the importance of transport effects on observations of energetic particles from CIRs. Future IS⊙IS observations of similar events over larger distances will help disentangle the effects of CIR-related acceleration and transport. We apply similar spectral analyses to the remaining five events, including four that are likely related to stream interaction regions (SIRs) and one solar energetic particle (SEP) event.

Additional Information

© 2020. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2019 September 20; revised 2019 November 6; accepted 2019 November 18; published 2020 February 3. Early Results from Parker Solar Probe: Ushering a New Frontier in Space Exploration This work was supported as a part of the Integrated Science Investigations of the Sun on NASA's Parker Solar Probe mission, under contract NNN06AA01C. The IS⊙IS data and visualization tools are available to the community at: https://spacephysics.princeton.edu/missions-instruments/isois; data are also available via the NASA Space Physics Data Facility (https://spdf.gsfc.nasa.gov/). Simulation results have been provided by the Community Coordinated Modeling Center at Goddard Space Flight Center through their public Runs on Request system (http://ccmc.gsfc.nasa.gov). The ENLIL Model was developed by D. Odstrcil at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Accepted Version - 1912.02339.pdf


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August 22, 2023
October 23, 2023