A local interstellar spectrum for galactic electrons
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A heliopause spectrum at 122 AU from the Sun is presented for galactic electrons over an energy range from 1 MeV to 50 GeV that can be considered the lowest possible local interstellar spectrum (LIS). The focus of this work is on the spectral shape of the LIS below 1.0 GeV. The study is done by using a comprehensive numerical model for solar modulation in comparison with Voyager 1 observations at 112 AU from the Sun and PAMELA data at Earth. Below 1.0 GeV, this LIS exhibits a power law with E (1.55 ± 0.05), where E is the kinetic energy of these electrons. However, reproducing the PAMELA electron spectrum averaged for 2009, requires a LIS with a different power law of the form E (3.15 ± 0.05) above 5 GeV. Combining the two power laws with a smooth transition from low to high energies yields a LIS over the full energy range that is relevant and applicable to the modulation of cosmic ray electrons in the heliosphere. The break occurs between 800 MeV and 2 GeV as a characteristic feature of this LIS. The power-law form below 1 GeV produces a challenge to the origin of these low energy galactic electrons. On the other hand, the results of this study can be used as a gauge for astrophysical modeling of the local interstellar spectrum for electrons.