Volume 505, Number 1, October I 2009
|Page(s)||329 - 337|
|Published online||03 August 2009|
Injection to the pick-up ion regime from high energies and induced ion power-laws
Argelander Institute for Astronomy, University of Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 Lebedev Physical Institute, Leninskii pr. 53, 117924 Moscow, Russia
3 Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max-Planck-Str. 2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 29 July 2009
Though pick-up ions (PUIs) are a well-known phenomenon in the inner heliosphere, their phase-space distribution nevertheless is a theoretically unsettled problem. Especially the question of how PUIs form their suprathermal tails, extending to far above their injection energies, still now is unsatisfactorily answered. Though Fermi-2 velocity diffusion theories have revealed that such tails are populated, they nevertheless show that resulting population densities are much less than seen in observations showing power-laws with a velocity index of “-5”. We first investigate here, whether or not observationally suggested power-laws can be the result of a quasi-equilibrium state between suprathermal ions and magnetohydrodynamic turbulences in energy exchange with each other. We demonstrate that such an equilibrium cannot be established, since it would require too high PUI pressures enforcing a shock-free deceleration of the solar wind. We furthermore show that Fermi-2 type energy diffusion in the outer heliosphere is too inefficient to determine the shape of the distribution function there. As we can show, however, power-laws beyond the injection threshold can be established, if the injection takes place at higher energies of the order of 100 keV. As we demonstrate here, such an injection is connected with modulated anomalous cosmic ray (ACR) particles at the lower end of their spectrum when they again start being convected outwards with the solar wind. Therefore, we refer to these particles as ACR-PUIs. In our quantitative calculation of the PUI spectrum resulting under such conditions we in fact find again power-laws, however with a velocity-power index of “-4” and fairly distance-independent spectral intensities. As it seems these facts are observationally well supported by VOYAGER measurements in the lowest energy channels.
Key words: plasmas / solar wind / cosmic rays
© ESO, 2009
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