Jan Gieseler

Jan Gieseler

Senior Researcher

University of Turku

About me

I am a Senior Researcher at the Space Research Laboratory at the University of Turku in Finland. As a member of multiple EU Horizon Europe projects that investigate Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) events, I am focussing on the analysis of energetic charged particles in the helisophere, with an emphasis on providing open-source Python software for this purpose. Furthermore, within the Finnish Centre of Ex­cel­lence in Research of Sustainable Space (FORESAIL), I am investigating charged particles measured in the vicinity of Earth using CubeSats.

  • Heliospheric Physics
  • Solar Energetic Particles
  • Galactic Cosmic Rays
  • Radiation Belts / Magnetosphere
  • Python
  • Dr. rer. nat. (PhD) in Heliospheric Physics, 2018

    University of Kiel, Germany

  • Diploma in Physics, 2008

    University of Kiel, Germany

Recent Publications

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Connecting remote and in situ observations of shock-accelerated electrons associated with a coronal mass ejection

Context. One of the most prominent sources for energetic particles in our Solar System are huge eruptions of magnetised plasma from the Sun, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which usually drive shocks that accelerate charged particles up to relativistic energies. In particular, energetic electron beams can generate radio bursts through the plasma emission mechanism, for example, type II and accompanying herringbone bursts. Aims. In this work, we investigate the acceleration location, escape, and propagation directions of various electron beams in the solar corona and compare them to the arrival of electrons at spacecraft. Methods. To track energetic electron beams, we used a synthesis of remote and direct observations combined with coronal modeling. Remote observations include ground-based radio observations from the Nançay Radioheliograph (NRH) combined with space-based extreme-ultraviolet and white-light observations from Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), and Solar Orbiter (SolO). We also used direct observations of energetic electrons from the STEREO and Wind spacecraft. These observations were then combined with a three-dimensional (3D) representation of the electron acceleration locations, including the results of magneto-hydrodynamic models of the solar corona. This representation was subsequently used to investigate the origin of electrons observed remotely at the Sun and their link to in situ electrons. Results. We observed a type II radio burst followed by herringbone bursts that show single-frequency movement through time in NRH images. The movement of the type II burst and herringbone radio sources seems to be influenced by regions in the corona where the CME is more capable of driving a shock. We found two clear distinct regions where electrons are accelerated in the low corona and we found spectral differences between the radio emission generated in these regions. We also found similar inferred injection times of near-relativistic electrons at spacecraft to the emission time of the type II and herringbone bursts. However, only the herringbone bursts propagate in a direction where the shock encounters open magnetic field lines that are likely to be magnetically connected to the same spacecraft. Conclusions. Our results indicate that if the in situ electrons are indeed shock-accelerated, the most likely origin of the in situ electrons arriving first is located near the acceleration site of herringbone electrons. This is the only region during the early evolution of the shock where there is clear evidence of electron acceleration and an intersection of the shock with open field lines, which can be directly connected to the observing spacecraft.

Relativistic electron beams accelerated by an interplanetary shock

Context. Collisionless shock waves have long been considered to be among the most prolific particle accelerators in the universe. Shocks alter the plasma they propagate through, and often exhibit complex evolution across multiple scales. Interplanetary (IP) traveling shocks have been recorded in situ for over half a century and act as a natural laboratory for experimentally verifying various aspects of large-scale collisionless shocks. A fundamentally interesting problem in both heliophysics and astrophysics is the acceleration of electrons to relativistic energies (> 300 keV) by traveling shocks. Aims. The reason for an incomplete understanding of electron acceleration at IP shocks is due to scale-related challenges and a lack of instrumental capabilities. This Letter presents the first observations of field-aligned beams of relativistic electrons upstream of an IP shock, observed thanks to the instrumental capabilities of Solar Orbiter. This study presents the characteristics of the electron beams close to the source and contributes to the understanding of their acceleration mechanism. Methods. On 25 July 2022, Solar Orbiter encountered an IP shock at 0.98 AU. The shock was associated with an energetic storm particle event, which also featured upstream field-aligned relativistic electron beams observed 14 min prior to the actual shock crossing. The distance of the beam’s origin was investigated using a velocity dispersion analysis (VDA). Peak-intensity energy spectra were anaylzed and compared with those obtained from a semi-analytical fast-Fermi acceleration model. Results. By leveraging Solar Orbiter’s high temporal resolution Energetic Particle Detector (EPD), we successfully showcase an IP shock’s ability to accelerate relativistic electron beams. Our proposed acceleration mechanism offers an explanation for the observed electron beam and its characteristics, while we also explore the potential contributions of more complex mechanisms.

Multiple injections of energetic electrons associated with the flare and CME event on 9 October 2021

Context. We study the solar energetic particle (SEP) event observed on 9 October 2021 by multiple spacecraft, including Solar Orbiter. The event was associated with an M1.6 flare, a coronal mass ejection, and a shock wave. During the event, high-energy protons and electrons were recorded by multiple instruments located within a narrow longitudinal cone. Aims. An interesting aspect of the event was the multi-stage particle energisation during the flare impulsive phase and also what appears to be a separate phase of electron acceleration detected at Solar Orbiter after the flare maximum. We aim to investigate and identify the multiple sources of energetic electron acceleration. Methods. We utilised SEP electron observations from the Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) and hard X-ray (HXR) observations from the Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) on board Solar Orbiter, in combination with radio observations at a broad frequency range. We focused on establishing an association between the energetic electrons and the different HXR and radio emissions associated with the multiple acceleration episodes. Results. We find that the flare was able to accelerate electrons for at least 20 min during the non-thermal phase, observed in the form of five discrete HXR pulses. We also show evidence that the shock wave contributed to the electron acceleration during and after the impulsive flare phase. The detailed analysis of EPD electron data shows that there was a time difference in the release of low- and high-energy electrons, with the high-energy release delayed. Also, the observed electron anisotropy characteristics suggest a different connectivity during the two phases of acceleration.

Solar-MACH: An open-source tool to analyze solar magnetic connection configurations

The Solar MAgnetic Connection HAUS1 tool (Solar-MACH) is an open-source tool completely written in Python that derives and visualizes the spatial configuration and solar magnetic connection of different observers (i.e., spacecraft or planets) in the heliosphere at different times. For doing this, the magnetic connection in the interplanetary space is obtained by the classic Parker Heliospheric Magnetic Field (HMF). In close vicinity of the Sun, a Potential Field Source Surface (PFSS) model can be applied to connect the HMF to the solar photosphere. Solar-MACH is especially aimed at providing publication-ready figures for the analyses of Solar Energetic Particle events (SEPs) or solar transients such as Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). It is provided as an installable Python package (listed on PyPI and conda-forge), but also as a web tool at solar-mach.github.io that completely runs in any web browser and requires neither Python knowledge nor installation. The development of Solar-MACH is open to everyone and takes place on GitHub, where the source code is publicly available under the BSD 3-Clause License. Established Python libraries like sunpy and pfsspy are utilized to obtain functionalities when possible. In this article, the Python code of Solar-MACH is explained, and its functionality is demonstrated using real science examples. In addition, we introduce the overarching SERPENTINE project, the umbrella under which the recent development took place.


Energetic Solar Eruptions: Data and Analysis Tools
Specification, Analysis & Re-calibration of High Energy Particle Data
Multi-spacecraft longitudinal configuration plotter
Solar energetic particle analysis platform for the inner heliosphere
Finnish Centre of Ex­cel­lence in Research of Sustainable Space
Aalto-1/RADMON data set 2017/2018
Public data set of RADiation MONitor (RADMON) measurements onboard the 1st Finnish CubeSat Aalto-1
Solar modulation potential based on proton proxies
Data set of monthly solar modulation potential values (1973-2017) derived from 1.28 GV proton proxies IMP-8 He and ACE/CRIS C


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