Unexpected spatial intensity distributions and onset timing of solar electron events observed by closely spaced STEREO spacecraft
1 Institut für Experimentelle und
Angewandte Physik, Universität Kiel, 24118
2 SRG, Universidad de Alcalá, Dpto. de Física y Matemáticas, 28871 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Accepted: 18 May 2016
We present multi-spacecraft observations of four solar electron events using measurements from the Solar Electron Proton Telescope (SEPT) and the Electron Proton Helium INstrument (EPHIN) on board the STEREO and SOHO spacecraft, respectively, occurring between 11 October 2013 and 1 August 2014, during the approaching superior conjunction period of the two STEREO spacecraft. At this time the longitudinal separation angle between STEREO-A (STA) and STEREO-B (STB) was less than 72°. The parent particle sources (flares) of the four investigated events were situated close to, in between, or to the west of the STEREO’s magnetic footpoints. The STEREO measurements revealed a strong difference in electron peak intensities (factor ≤12) showing unexpected intensity distributions at 1 AU, although the two spacecraft had nominally nearly the same angular magnetic footpoint separation from the flaring active region (AR) or their magnetic footpoints were both situated eastwards from the parent particle source. Furthermore, the events detected by the two STEREO imply a strongly unexpected onset timing with respect to each other: the spacecraft magnetically best connected to the flare detected a later arrival of electrons than the other one. This leads us to suggest the concept of a rippled peak intensity distribution at 1 AU formed by narrow peaks (fingers) superposed on a quasi-uniform Gaussian distribution. Additionally, two of the four investigated solar energetic particle (SEP) events show a so-called circumsolar distribution and their characteristics make it plausible to suggest a two-component particle injection scenario forming an unusual, non-uniform intensity distribution at 1 AU.
Key words: Sun: flares / Sun: particle emission / acceleration of particles
© ESO, 2016