Document Type


Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal


In this paper, a model of solar energetic particle (SEP) propagation in the three-dimensional Parker interplanetary magnetic field is calculated numerically. We study the effects of the different aspects of particle sources on the solar surface, which include the source location, coverage of latitude and longitude, and spatial distribution of source particle intensity, on propagation of SEPs with both parallel and perpendicular diffusion. We compute the particle flux and anisotropy profiles at different observation locations in the heliosphere. From our calculations, we find that the observation location relative to the latitudinal and longitudinal coverage of particle source has the strongest effects on particle flux and anisotropy profiles observed by a spacecraft. When a spacecraft is directly connected to the solar sources by the interplanetary magnetic field lines, the observed particle fluxes are larger than when the spacecraft is not directly connected. This paper focuses on the situations when a spacecraft is not connected to the particle sources on the solar surface. We find that when the magnetic footpoint of the spacecraft is farther away from the source, the observed particle flux is smaller and its onset and maximum intensity occur later. When the particle source covers a larger range of latitude and longitude, the observed particle flux is larger and appears earlier. There is east-west azimuthal asymmetry in SEP profiles even when the source distribution is east-west symmetric. However, the detail of particle spatial distribution inside the source does not affect the profile of the SEP flux very much. When the magnetic footpoint of the spacecraft is significantly far away from the particle source, the anisotropy of particles in the early stage of an SEP event points toward the Sun, which indicates that the first arriving particles come from outside of the observer through perpendicular diffusion at large radial distances.



Publication Date