Possible evidence for a Fisk-type heliospheric magnetic field. 1. Analyzing Ulysses/Ket electron observations
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The propagation of energetic charged particles in the heliospheric magnetic field is one of the fundamental problems in heliophysics. In particular, the structure of the heliospheric magnetic field remains an unsolved problem and is discussed as a controversial topic. The first successful analytic approach to the structure of the heliospheric magnetic field was the Parker field. However, the measurements of the Ulysses spacecraft at high latitudes revealed the possible need for refinements of the existing magnetic field model during solar minimum. Among other reasons, this led to the development of the Fisk field. This approach is highly debated and could not be ruled out with magnetic field measurements so far. A promising method to trace this magnetic field structure is to model the propagation of electrons in the energy range of a few MeV. Employing three-dimensional and time-dependent simulations of the propagation of energetic electrons, this work shows that the influence of a Fisk-type field on the particle transport in the heliosphere leads to characteristic variations of the electron intensities on the timescale of a solar rotation. For the first time it is shown that the Ulysses count rates of 2.5-7 MeV electrons contain the imprint of a Fisk-type heliospheric magnetic field structure. From a comparison of simulation results and the Ulysses count rates, realistic parameters for the Fisk theory are derived. Furthermore, these parameters are used to investigate the modeled relative amplitudes of protons and electrons, including the effects of drifts.