Solar Physics

, Volume 281, Issue 1, pp 281–300 | Cite as

The Large Longitudinal Spread of Solar Energetic Particles During the 17 January 2010 Solar Event

  • N. DresingEmail author
  • R. Gómez-Herrero
  • A. Klassen
  • B. Heber
  • Y. Kartavykh
  • W. Dröge


We investigate multi-spacecraft observations of the 17 January 2010 solar energetic particle event. Energetic electrons and protons have been observed over a remarkable large longitudinal range at the two STEREO spacecraft and SOHO, suggesting a longitudinal spread of nearly 360 degrees at 1 AU. The flaring active region, which was on the backside of the Sun as seen from Earth, was separated by more than 100 degrees in longitude from the magnetic footpoints of each of the three spacecraft. The event is characterized by strongly delayed energetic particle onsets with respect to the flare and only small or no anisotropies in the intensity measurements at all three locations. The presence of a coronal shock is evidenced by the observation of a type II radio burst from the Earth and STEREO-B. In order to describe the observations in terms of particle transport in the interplanetary medium, including perpendicular diffusion, a 1D model describing the propagation along a magnetic field line (model 1) (Dröge, Astrophys. J. 589, 1027 – 1039, 2003) and the 3D propagation model (model 2) by Dröge et al. (Astrophys. J. 709, 912 – 919, 2010) including perpendicular diffusion in the interplanetary medium have been applied. While both models are capable of reproducing the observations, model 1 requires injection functions at the Sun of several hours. Model 2, which includes lateral transport in the solar wind, reveals high values for the ratio of perpendicular to parallel diffusion. Because we do not find evidence for unusual long injection functions at the Sun, we favor a scenario with strong perpendicular transport in the interplanetary medium as an explanation for the observations.


Solar energetic particles (SEPs) Propagation Perpendicular diffusion 



We acknowledge the STEREO PLASTIC, IMPACT, SECCHI, EIT, and Wind teams for providing the data used in this paper. The STEREO/SEPT and SOHO/EPHIN projects are supported under Grant 50 OC 0902 by the German Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft through the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR). We thank the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks for providing the ecliptic plane IMF maps. The radio monitoring survey is generated and maintained at the Observatoire de Paris by the LESIA UMR CNRS 8109 in cooperation with the Artemis team, the Universities of Athens and Ioanina, and the Naval Research Laboratory. This work utilizes data obtained by the Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) program, managed by the National Solar Observatory, which is operated by AURA, Inc. under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The data were acquired by instruments operated by the Big Bear Solar Observatory, High Altitude Observatory, Learmonth Solar Observatory, Udaipur Solar Observatory, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Y.K. was partially supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project No. 09-02-00019-a).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Dresing
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. Gómez-Herrero
    • 1
  • A. Klassen
    • 1
  • B. Heber
    • 1
  • Y. Kartavykh
    • 2
    • 3
  • W. Dröge
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Experimentelle und Angewandte PhysikChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Theoretische Physik und AstrophysikUniversität WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  3. 3.Ioffe Physical-Technical InstituteSt-PetersburgRussia

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