Volume 513, April 2010
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||16 April 2010|
The heliospheric transport and modulation of multiple charged anomalous oxygen revisited
Unit for Space Physics, North-West University, 2520, Potchefstroom, South Africa e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 1 February 2010
Context. Since the crossings of the solar wind termination shock by the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft, much speculation has surrounded the acceleration mechanism and region where the anomalous cosmic ray component is accelerated. A peculiar, and mostly overlooked feature of the observed anomalous oxygen spectrum near the termination shock, is the power law form of the roll-over (cut-off) at the high energy range of this spectrum.
Aims. We investigate, using a numerical model, why this deviation from the expected exponential form of the cut-off part of the anomalous oxygen spectrum occurs, and if the observed power law form can be explained in terms of the acceleration of multiple charged anomalous oxygen.
Methods. Multiple charged anomalous cosmic rays are incorporated in a numerical model, based on the standard Parker transport equation, including acceleration at the solar wind termination shock. This is done by specifying an energy dependent charge state, constrained by observations.
Results. Comparing computational results with spacecraft observations, it is found that the inclusion of multiply charged anomalous cosmic rays in the modulation model can explain the observed spectrum of anomalous oxygen in the energy range from 10–70 MeV per nucleon. The more effective acceleration of these multiple charge anomalous particles at the solar wind termination shock causes a significant deviation from the usual exponential cut-off spectrum to display instead a power law decrease up to 70 MeV per nucleon where galactic oxygen starts to dominate. In addition, the model reproduces the features of multiple charged oxygen at Earth so that a good comparison is obtained between computations and observations.
Key words: Sun: heliosphere / cosmic rays / acceleration of particles
© ESO, 2010
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