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Published August 25, 2008 | public
Book Section - Chapter Open

Unusual Observations during the December 2006 Solar Energetic Particle Events within an Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejection at 1 AU


In mid December 2006 several flares on the Sun occurred in rapid succession, spawning several CMEs and bathing the Earth in multiple solar energetic particle (SEP) events. One such SEP event occurring on December 14 was observed at the Earth just as an interplanetary CME (ICME) from a previous flare on December 13 was transiting the Earth. Although solar wind observations during this time show typical energetic proton fluxes from the prior SEP event and IP shock driven ahead of the ICME, as the ICME passes the Earth unusual energetic particle signatures are observed. Measurements from ACE, Wind, and STEREO show proton flux variations at energies ranging from ∼3 MeV up to greater than 70 MeV. Energetic electron signatures from ACE show similar variations. Within the Earth's magnetosphere Polar HIST also sees these proton flux variations at energies greater than 10 MeV while crossing open field lines in the southern polar cap. Although no such variation in the energetic proton flux is observed at the GOES 11 spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit near the subsolar region, differential fluxes observed at GOES 11 and GOES 12 in the 15–40 MeV energy range do show some variability, indicating the signature is observable near dawn and dusk.

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© 2008 American Institute of Physics. Published online 25 August 2008.


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