The heliospheric modulation of cosmic ray protons during increased solar activity: effects of the position of the solar wind termination shock and of the heliopause
- 1Institut für Theoretische Physik IV, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany
- 2Unit for Space Physics and School of Physics, North-West University, 2520 Potchefstroom, South Africa
Abstract. The effects on the modulation of cosmic ray protons of different positions for the solar wind termination shock and for the heliopause are illustrated for moderate solar maximum conditions. This is done with a numerical model which includes diffusive termination shock acceleration, a heliosheath and drifts. The modulation is computed for the heliospheric equatorial plane and at 35° heliolatitude and for both magnetic polarity cycles of the Sun. It was found that the differences between the modulation for the two solar polarity cycles are less significant at a heliolatitude of 35° than in the equatorial plane. The modulation for the different heliopause positions are qualitatively similar, although there are clear quantitative differences which should be observable with the two Voyager spacecraft in the outer heliosphere. It is illustrated that the motion of the termination shock from 90 AU to 100 AU, with the heliopause fixed at 120 AU, is not crucially important to global modulation. What is of primary importance is the location of the heliopause. It can also be concluded from the results that significant asymmetric modulation is to be expected between the up-wind and down-wind directions of the heliosphere but this may become measureable only when spacecraft move beyond the termination shock into the heliosheath.
Keywords. Interplanetary physics (Cosmic rays; Heliopause and solar wind termination) – Space plasma physics (Transport processes)