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ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Wang, C. Q., Chang, Z., Zhang, X. X., Shen, G. H., Zhang, S. Y., Sun, Y. Q., Li, J. W., Jing, T., Zhang, H. X., Sun, Y and Zhang, B. Q. (2020). Proton belt variations traced back to Fengyun-1C satellite observations. Earth Planet. Phys., 4(6), 611–618doi: 10.26464/epp2020069

doi: 10.26464/epp2020069


Proton belt variations traced back to Fengyun-1C satellite observations


National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China


Beijing Key Laboratory of Space Environment Exploration, Beijing 100190, China


Environmental Space Situation Awareness-SSA, Beijing 100190, China


National Center for Space Weather, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China

Corresponding author: ChunQin Wang,

Received Date: 2020-04-28
Web Publishing Date: 2020-11-09

We used historical data to trace trapped protons observed by the Fengyun-1C (FY-1C) satellite at low Earth orbits (~800 km) and chose data at 5–10 MeV, 10–40 MeV, 40–100 MeV, and ~100–300 MeV from 25 March to 18 April 2000 to analyze the proton variations. Only one isolated strong storm was associated with a solar proton event during this period, and there was no influence from previous proton variations. Complex dynamic phenomena of proton trapping and loss were affected by this disturbance differently depending on the energy and L location. The flux of 5–10 MeV protons increased and created new trapping with a maximum at L ~2.0, and the peak flux was significantly higher than that at the center of the South Atlantic Anomaly. However, at higher L, the flux showed obvious loss, with retreat of the outer boundary from L ~2.7 to L ~2.5. The increase in the 10–40 MeV proton flux was similar to that of the 5–10 MeV flux; however, the peak flux intensity was lower than that at the center of the South Atlantic Anomaly. The loss of the 10–40 MeV proton flux was closer to the Earth side, and the outer boundary was reduced from L ~2.3 to L ~2.25. For the higher energy protons of 40–100 MeV and 100–300 MeV, no new trapping was found. Loss of the 40–100 MeV protons was observed, and the outer boundary shifted from L ~2.0 to L ~1.9. Loss was not obvious for the 100–400 MeV protons, which were distributed within L < 1.8. New proton trapping was more likely to be created at lower energy in the region of solar proton injection by the strong magnetic storm, whereas loss occurred in a wide energy range and reduced the outer boundary on the Earth side. Similar dynamic changes were observed by the NOAA-15 satellite in the same period, but the FY-1C satellite observed more complex changes in lower energy protons. These results revealed that the dynamic behavior of protons with different L-shells was due to differences in the pitch angle. Possible mechanisms related to new trapping and loss are also discussed. These mechanisms are very important for understanding the behavior of the proton belt in the coming solar cycle.

Key words: high-energy proton, trapping, loss, disturbance, inner radiation belt

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Proton belt variations traced back to Fengyun-1C satellite observations

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