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Relativistic Proton Production During the 2000 July 14 Solar Event: The Case for Multiple Source Mechanisms

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 17:57 authored by Daniel BombardieriDaniel Bombardieri, Marcus DuldigMarcus Duldig, Michael, KJ, John Humble
Protons accelerated to relativistic energies by transient solar and interplanetary phenomena caused a ground-level cosmic-ray enhancement on 2000 July 14, Bastille Day. Near-Earth spacecraft measured the proton flux directly, and ground-based observatories measured the secondary responses to higher energy protons. We have modeled the arrival of these relativistic protons at Earth using a technique that deduces the spectrum, arrival direction, and anisotropy of the high-energy protons that produce increased responses in neutron monitors. To investigate the acceleration processes involved we have employed theoretical shock and stochastic acceleration spectral forms in our fits to spacecraft and neutron monitor data. During the rising phase of the event (10:45 and 10:50 UT) we find that the spectrum between 140 MeV and 4 GeV is best fitted by a shock acceleration spectrum. In contrast, the spectrum at the peak (10:55 and 11:00 UT) and in the declining phase (11:40 UT) is best fitted with a stochastic acceleration spectrum. We propose that at least two acceleration processes were responsible for the production of relativistic protons during the Bastille Day solar event: (1) protons were accelerated to relativistic energies by a shock, presumably a coronal mass ejection (CME); and (2) protons were also accelerated to relativistic energies by stochastic processes initiated by magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence. © 2006. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Publication title

The Astrophysical Journal








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


University of Chicago Press

Place of publication

Chicago, USA

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  • Restricted

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