Ground level observations of relativistic solar particles on Oct 29th, 2015: Is it a new GLE on the current solar cycle?

29 Mar 2016  ·  Augusto C. R. A., Navia C. E., de Oliveira M. N., Nepomuceno A. A., Fauth A. C. ·

On Oct. 29th, 2015, the Earth crossed through a fold in the heliospheric current sheet. This is called a "solar sector boundary crossing"... Under this circumstances, a large coronal mass ejection (CME) occurred at 2:24 UT, behind the west limb on the sun. Therefore, the boundary crossing occurred when in the blast's nearby environment was filled with energetic particles accelerated by the CME shock waves, spacecraft measurements (ACE and GOES) have shown that in such a case, protons with energies at least up to 30 MeV were stored within the range of the sector boundary. Thus, a fraction of the solar energetic particles (SEP) from CME, reached Earth around 03:00 UT in the aftermath of the solar blast, reaching the condition of an S1 (minor) radiation storm level. The effect at ground level was a small increase in the counting rate in some ground based detectors, such as the South Pole Neutron Monitor (NM) and a sharp peak observed in the counting rate in the New-Tupi detector in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Thule NM. The event is being classified as a new GLE (Ground Level Enhancement) in the current solar cycle, as the GLE 73. However, in all cases, the counting rate increase is smaller or near than 2\%. The Earth crossed through a fold in the heliospheric current sheet also caused a geomagnetic disturbance, below the minor geomagnetic storm threshold, observed in the ACE spacecraft and a small decrease in the counting rates of some ground level detectors, such as the New-Tupi detector and Thuly NM. Details of these observations are reported. read more

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics