We analyze two specific features of the intense solar energetic particle (SEP) event observed by Parker Solar Probe (PSP) between 2020 November 29 and 2020 December 2. The interplanetary counterpart of the coronal mass ejection (CME) on 2020 November 29 that generated the SEP event (hereafter ICME-2) arrived at PSP (located at 0.8 au from the Sun) on 2020 December 1. ICME-2 was preceded by the passage of an interplanetary shock at 18:35 UT on 2020 November 30 (hereafter S2), that in turn was preceded by another ICME (i.e., ICME-1) observed in situ on 2020 November 30. The two interesting features of this SEP event at PSP are the following: First, the presence of the intervening ICME-1 affected the evolution of the ≲8 MeV proton intensity-time profiles resulting in the observation of inverted energy spectra throughout the passage of ICME-1. Second, the sheath region preceding ICME-2 was characterized by weak magnetic fields compared to those measured immediately after the passage of the shock S2 and during the passage of ICME-2. Comparison with prior SEP events measured at 1 au but with similar characteristics indicates that (1) low-energy particles accelerated by S2 were excluded from propagating throughout ICME-1, and (2) the low magnetic fields measured in the sheath of ICME-2 resulted from the properties of the upstream solar wind encountered by ICME-2 that was propagated into the sheath, whereas the energy density of the high-energy particles in the sheath did not play a dominant role in the formation of these low magnetic fields.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science