A Study of the Frequency of Occurrence of Large-Fluence Solar Proton Events and the Strength of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field
MARYLAND UNIV COLLEGE PARK INST FOR PHYSICAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Pagination or Media Count:
It has been shown previously that the number of very-large-fluence solar proton events inferred for the period since 1561 were more frequent at times of low solar activity e.g., following the recovery from the Maunder minimum, than in the present epoch of high solar activity. An inverse dependence is demonstrated between the probability of observation of the very large-fluence solar proton events and the strength of the interplanetary magnetic field derived from empirical predictions. Using the observed dependence, it is predicted and demonstrated that large-fluence solar proton events have been observed at Earth more frequently near the recurrent minima of the solar activity cycle in the past than during the present epoch. We show that these results are explicable in terms of the linear dependence of the Alfven velocity upon the strength of the interplanetary magnetic field, leading to higher shock compression ratios in the past. These results indicate that this aspect of solar weather will be significantly influenced by the prevailing strength of the interplanetary magnetic field, and that recurrence of solar conditions similar to those of the solar activity minimum of solar cycles 12-14 1878.9-1913.6 would be accompanied by a factor of 4 increase in the occurrence of large-fluence solar proton events.
- Electricity and Magnetism