Modelling anomalous cosmic ray oxygen in the heliosheath
R. D. Strauss1, M. S. Potgieter1, S. E. S. Ferreira1 and M. E. Hill2
Unit for Space Physics, North-West University,
2 Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Rd., Laurel, MD 20723, USA
Accepted: 19 July 2010
This paper discusses a numerical modulation model to describe anomalous cosmic ray acceleration and transport in the heliosheath, the portion of the heliosphere between the termination shock and the heliopause. The model is based on the well known Parker transport equation and includes, in addition to diffusive shock acceleration at the solar wind termination shock, momentum diffusion (Fermi II, stochastic acceleration) and adiabatic heating occurring in the heliosheath together with both a latitude dependent compression ratio and injection efficiency as inferred from hydrodynamic heliospheric models. The model is applied to the study of anomalous cosmic ray oxygen, with the resulting intensities compared to recent Voyager 1 spacecraft observations in the heliosheath. Comparison shows that the model is able to very satisfactorily reproduce these observations, which includes a modulated spectral form at the termination shock and subsequent unfolding into the heliosheath. It is concluded that a combination of momentum diffusion and adiabatic heating, under certain realistic assumption of the solar wind speed in the heliosheath, form a viable re-acceleration mechanism, or continuous acceleration process, to explain the very contentious anomalous cosmic ray observations in the heliosheath.
Key words: Sun: heliosphere / cosmic rays / acceleration of particles
© ESO, 2010