Seed Population Preconditioning and Acceleration Observed by the Parker Solar Probe


Nathan A. Schwadron, University of New HampshireFollow
S. Bale, University of California
J. Bonnell, University of California
A. Case, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
E. R. Christian, Goddard Space Flight Center
C. M. S. Cohen, California Institute of Technology
A. C. Cummings, California Institute of Technology
A. J. Davis, California Institute of Technology
T. Dudok de Wit, University of Orléans
Wouter de Wet, University of New HampshireFollow
M. I. Desai, University of Texas
C. J. Joyce, Princeton University
K. Goetz, Princeton University
J. Giacalone, University of Arizona
M. Gorby, University of New Hampshire
P. Harvey, University of California at Berkeley
B. Heber, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel
M. E. Hill, Applied Physics Laboratory
M. Karavolos, Space Applications and Remote Sensing of the National Observatory of Athens
J. C. Kasper, University of Michigan
K. Korreck, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
D. Larson, University of California at Berkeley
R. Livi, University of California at Berkeley
R. A. Leske, California Institute of Technology
O. Malandraki, National Observatory of Athens
R. MacDowall, Goddard Space Flight Center
D. Malaspina, University of Colorado, Boulder
W. H. Matthaeus, University of Delaware
D. J. McComas, Princeton University
R. L. McNutt Jr., Applied Physics Laboratory
R. A. Mewaldt, Goddard Space Flight Center
D. G. Mitchell, Applied Physics Laboratory
L. Mays, Goddard Space Flight Center
Jonathan T. Niehof, University of New Hampshire, DurhamFollow
D. Odstrcil, Goddard Space Flight Center
M. Pulupa, University of California at Berkeley
B. Poduval, University of New HampshireFollow
J. S. Rankin, Princeton University
E. C. Roelof, Applied Physics Laboratory
M. Stevens, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
E. C. Stone, California Institute of Technology
J. R. Szalay, Princeton University
M. E. Wiedenbeck, California Institute of Technology
R. Winslow, University of New Hampshire, Durham
P. Whittlesey, University of California at Berkeley


A series of solar energetic particle (SEP) events was observed by the Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (IS⊙IS) on the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) during the period from 2019 April 18 through 24. The PSP spacecraft was located near 0.48 au from the Sun on Parker spiral field lines that projected out to 1 au within ∼25° of the near-Earth spacecraft. These SEP events, though small compared to historically large SEP events, were among the largest observed thus far in the PSP mission and provide critical information about the space environment inside 1 au during SEP events. During this period, the Sun released multiple coronal mass ejections (CMEs). One of these CMEs observed was initiated on 2019 April 20 at 01:25 UTC, and the interplanetary CME (ICME) propagated out and passed over the PSP spacecraft. Observations by the Electromagnetic Fields Investigation show that the magnetic field structure was mostly radial throughout the passage of the compression region and the plasma that followed, indicating that PSP did not directly observe a flux rope internal to the ICME, consistent with the location of PSP on the ICME flank. Analysis using relativistic electrons observed near Earth by the Electron, Proton and Alpha Monitor on the Advanced Composition Explorer demonstrates the presence of electron seed populations (40–300 keV) during the events observed. The energy spectrum of the IS⊙IS-observed proton seed population below 1 MeV is close to the limit of possible stationary-state plasma distributions out of equilibrium. IS⊙IS observations reveal the enhancement of seed populations during the passage of the ICME, which likely indicates a key part of the preacceleration process that occurs close to the Sun.

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The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series



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