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dc.contributor.authorNgobeni, M.D.en_US
dc.contributor.authorPotgieter, M.S.en_US
dc.identifier.citationNgobeni, M.D. & Potgieter, M.S. 2010. The heliospheric modulation of cosmic rays: effects of a latitude dependent solar wind termination shock. Advances in space research, 46(4):391-401. []en_US
dc.description.abstractObservations made with the two Voyager spacecraft confirmed that the solar wind decelerates to form the heliospheric termination shock and that it has begun its merger with the local interstellar medium. The compression ratio of this shock affects galactic cosmic rays when they enter the heliosphere. Hydrodynamic (HD) models show that the compression ratio can have a significant latitude dependence; with the largest value in the nose direction of the heliosphere, becoming significantly less towards the polar regions. The modulation effects of such large latitude dependence are studied, using a well-established numerical drift and shock modulation model. We focus on computing the modulated spectra for galactic protons with emphasis on the radial and polar gradients in the equatorial plane and at a polar angle of θ = 55°, corresponding to the heliolatitude of Voyager 1. Two sets of solutions are computed and compared each time; with and without a latitude dependence for the compression ratio. All computations are done for the two magnetic field polarity cycles assuming solar minimum conditions. Including the termination shock in the model allows the study of the re-acceleration of galactic protons in the outer heliosphere. We find that for the A < 0 polarity cycle the intensity between ∼200 MeV and ∼1 GeV in the vicinity of the shock in the heliospheric equatorial plane may exceed the local interstellar value specified at the heliopause. Unfortunately, at θ = 55°, the effect is reduced. This seems not possible during an A > 0 cycle because significant modulation is then predicted between the heliopause and the termination shock, depending on how strong global gradient and curvature drifts are in the heliosheath. The overall effect of the shock on galactic protons in the equatorial plane is to reduce the total modulation as a function of radial distance with respect to the interstellar spectrum. Making the compression ratio latitude dependent enhances these effects at energies E < 200 MeV in the equatorial plane. At larger heliolatitudes these effects are even more significant. The differences in the modulation between the two drift cycles are compelling when the compression ratio is made latitude dependent but at Earth this effect is insignificant. A general result is that the computed radial gradient changes for galactic protons at and close to the TS and that these changes are polarity dependent. In line with previous work, large polarity dependent effects are predicted for the inner heliosphere and also close to the shock’s position in the equatorial plane. In contrast, at θ = 55°, the largest polarity effect occurs in the middle heliosphere (50 AU), enhanced by the latitude dependence of the compression ratio. At this latitude, the amount of proton modulation between the heliopause and the termination shock is much reduced. If galactic cosmic rays were to experience some diffusive shock acceleration over the 100–1000 MeV range at the shock, the radial gradient should change its sign in the vicinity of the shock, how large, depends on the compression ratio and the amount of drifts taking place in the outer heliosphere. The effective polar gradient shows a strong polarity dependence at Earth but this dissipates at θ = 55°, especially with increasing radial distance. This tendency is enhanced by making the compression ratio latitude dependent
dc.subjectCosmic rays
dc.subjectSolar wind termination shock
dc.titleThe heliospheric modulation of cosmic rays: effects of a latitude dependent solar wind termination shocken_US
dc.contributor.researchID10060014 - Potgieter, Marthinus Steenkamp
dc.contributor.researchID13161229 - Ngobeni, Mabedle Donald

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