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 the Finnish Centre of Ex­cel­lence in Research of Sustainable Space (FORESAIL) I am currently investigating charged particles measured in the vicinity of Earth using CubeSats. I am also involved in the recently started Solar energetic particle analysis platform for the inner heliosphere (SERPENTINE) project that aims to answer outstanding questions about the origin of Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) events.

  • Heliospheric Physics
  • Radiation Belts / Magnetosphere
  • Solar Energetic Particles
  • Galactic Cosmic Rays
  • 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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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.

The 17 April 2021 widespread solar energetic particle event

Context. A complex and long-lasting solar eruption on 17 April 2021 produced a widespread Solar Energetic Particle event (SEP) that was observed by five longitudinally well-separated observers in the inner heliosphere covering distances to the Sun from 0.42 to 1 au: BepiColombo, Parker Solar Probe, Solar Orbiter, STEREO A, and close-to-Earth spacecraft. The event was the second widespread SEP event of solar cycle 25 and produced relativistic electrons and protons. It was associated with a long-lasting solar hard X-ray flare showing multiple hard X-ray peaks over a duration of one hour. The event was further accompanied by a medium fast Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) with a speed of 880 km s −1 driving a shock, an EUV wave as well as long-lasting and complex radio burst activity showing four distinct type III burst groups over a period of 40 minutes. Aims. We aim at understanding the reason for the wide SEP spread as well as identifying the underlying source regions of the electron and proton event. Methods. A comprehensive multi-spacecraft analysis of remote-sensing observations and in-situ measurements of the energetic particles and interplanetary context is applied to attribute the SEP observations at the different locations to the various potential source regions at the Sun. An ENLIL simulation is used to characterize the complex interplanetary state and its role for the energetic particle transport. The magnetic connection between the spacecraft and the Sun is determined using ballistic backmapping in combination with potential field source surface extrapolations in the lower corona. In combination with a reconstruction of the coronal shock front we then determine the times when the shock establishes magnetic connections with the different observers. Radio observations are used to characterize the directivity of the four main injection episodes, which are then employed in a 2D SEP transport simulation to test the importance of these different injection episodes. Results. A comprehensive timing analysis of the inferred solar injection times of the SEPs observed at the different spacecraft suggests different source processes being important for the electron and the proton event. Comparison with characteristics and timing of the potential sources, such as the CME-driven shock or the flare, suggests a stronger shock contribution for the proton event and a more likely flare-related source of the electron event. Conclusions. Different to earlier studies on widespread SEP events, we find that in this event an important ingredient for the wide SEP spread was the wide longitudinal range of about 110◦ covered by distinct SEP injections, which is also supported by our SEP transport modeling.

Solar energetic particle time series analysis with Python

Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs) are charged particles accelerated within the solar atmosphere or the interplanetary space by explosive phenomena such as solar flares or Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). Once injected into the interplanetary space, they can propagate towards Earth, causing space weather related phenomena. For their analysis, interplanetary in situ measurements of charged particles are key. The recently expanded spacecraft fleet in the heliosphere not only provides much-needed additional vantage points, but also increases the variety of missions and instruments for which data loading and processing tools are needed. This manuscript introduces a series of Python functions that will enable the scientific community to download, load, and visualize charged particle measurements of the current space missions that are especially relevant to particle research as time series or dynamic spectra. In addition, further analytical functionality is provided that allows the determination of SEP onset times as well as their inferred injection times. The full workflow, which is intended to be run within Jupyter Notebooks and can also be approachable for Python laymen, will be presented with scientific examples. All functions are written in Python, with the source code publicly available at GitHub under a permissive license. Where appropriate, available Python libraries are used, and their application is described.


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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