The solar modulation of electrons in the heliosphere
MetadataShow full item record
The propagation and modulation of electrons in the heliosphere play an important part in improving our understanding and assessment of the modulation processes. A full three-dimensional numerical model is used to study the modulation of galactic electrons, from Earth into the inner heliosheath, over an energy range from 10 MeV to 30 GeV. The modeling is compared with observations of 6–14 MeV electrons from Voyager 1 and observations at Earth from the PAMELA mission. Computed spectra are shown at different spatial positions. Based on comparison with Voyager 1 observations, a new local interstellar electron spectrum is calculated. We find that it consists of two power-laws: In terms of kinetic energy E, the results give E −1.5 below ∼ 500 MeV and E −3.15 at higher energies. Radial intensity profiles are computed also for 12 MeV electrons, including a Jovian source, and compared to the 6– 14 MeV observations from Voyager 1. Since the Jovian and galactic electrons can be separated in the model, we calculate the intensity of galactic electrons below 100 MeV at Earth. The highest possible differential flux of galactic electrons at Earth with E = 12 MeV is found to have a value of 2.5 × 10−1 electrons m−2 s−1 sr−1 MeV−1 which is significantly lower (a factor of 3) than the Jovian electron flux at Earth. The model can also reproduce the extraordinary increase of electrons by a factor of 60 at 12 MeV in the inner heliosheath. A lower limit for the local interstellar spectrum at 12 MeV is estimated to have a value of (90±10) electrons m−2 s−1 sr−1 MeV−1.