Solar modulation of galactic cosmic radiation

Rao, U. R. (1972) Solar modulation of galactic cosmic radiation Space Science Reviews, 12 (6). pp. 719-809. ISSN 0038-6308

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In this review an attempt is made to present an integrated view of the solar modulation process that cause time variation of cosmic ray particles. After briefly surveying the relevant large and small scale properties of the interplanetary magnetic fields and plasma, the motion of cosmic ray particles in the disordered interplanetary magnetic fields is discussed. The experimentally observed long term variations of different species of cosmic ray particles are summarised and compared with the theoretical predictions from the diffusion-convection model. The effect of the energy losses due to decelaration in the expanding solar wind are clearly brought out. The radial density gradient, the modulation parameter and their long term variation are discussed to understand the dynamics of the modulating region. The cosmic ray anisotropy measurements at different energies are summarised. At high energies (E≳1 GeV), the average diurnal anisotropy is shown to be energy independent and along the 18.00 h direction consistent with their undergoing partial corotation with the sun. The average semi-diurnal anisotropy seems to vary with energy as E+1 and incident from a direction perpendicular to the interplanetary field line, consistent with the semi-diurnal component being produced by latitudinal gradients. Both the diurnal and semi-diurnal components are shown to be practically time invariant. On a day to day basis, however, the anisotropy characteristics such as the exponent of variation, the amplitude and the phase show very high variability which are interpreted in terms of convection and variable field aligned diffusion due to the redistribution of the galactic cosmic ray density following transient changes in the interplanetary medium. The anisotropy observation at low energies (E≲100 MeV) are, however, not explained by the theory. The rigidity dependence and the anisotropies during short term variations such as Forbush decreases are discussed in terms of the proposed field models for the interplanetary field structure and are compared with the observed rigidity dependence of long term variations. The data pertaining to the 27 day corotating Forbush decreases and their association with enhanced diurnal variation are also presented. The relationship between the energetic storm particle events which are caused by the acceleration of particles in the shock fronts and the Forbush decreases which are caused by the exclusion of galactic particles by the enhanced field structure in the same fronts are clearly brought out. Thus the recurrent increases at low energies and recurrent decreases at high energies may both be caused by the field structure in the shock front. In conclusion, the properties of the very short period fluctuations (18-25 cph) are summarised.

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