EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 482, Number 3, May II 2008
Page(s) 973 - 979
Section The Sun
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20079069
Published online 04 March 2008

A&A 482, 973-979 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20079069

Are there Kronian electrons in the inner heliosphere?

D. Lange and H. Fichtner

Institut für Theoretische Physik IV, Weltraum- und Astrophysik Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
    e-mail: dennie@tp4.rub.de

(Received 14 November 2007 / Accepted 8 February 2008)

Context. As the largest in our solar system the Jovian magnetosphere is treated in the literature as the dominant source of a few-MeV electrons, which have been measured by various spacecraft. In particular, observations obtained with Ulysses have significantly broadened the available data base.
Aims. We simulated the transports of MeV electrons in the heliosphere on the basis of a time-dependent, three-dimensional modulation model. For this purpose the cosmic rays, the Jovian and the Saturnian electron sources have been, for the first time, considered together in the simulation of electron fluxes. The simulated electron intensities are discussed along the Ulysses and Cassini trajectories. The Ulysses spacecraft already passed by the planet Jupiter twice (1992, 2004), and Cassini passed by Jupiter in 2001 and reached Saturn in the year 2004. The strength of the electron source at Jupiter is relatively well known and well modelled. To determine the source strength of Saturn in comparison to that of Jupiter, we compared all available spacecraft measurements at Jupiter/Saturn in the overlapping energy range. We study the general distribution of Kronian electrons by successively using three different strengths of the Saturn source in our simulations. In addition, the effects of the solar activity are taken into account by varying the velocity field of the solar wind and the anisotropic diffusion tensor.
Methods. Studying the particle diffusion is particularly relevant, because the really unknown function in the used transport equation is the diffusion tensor. The Jovian and/or Kronian electrons are suitable for studying the transport of energetic particles because the source locations are well known.
Results. At 1 MeV the intensities along the Ulysses and the Cassini trajectories are clearly influenced by the presence of Kronian electrons.
Conclusions. Our results reveal that the electrons from the Kronian magnetosphere, as the second largest, cannot be neglected in the very-low MeV energy range.

Key words: diffusion -- convection -- methods: numerical

© ESO 2008