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Analyses of Sidereal and Solar Anisotropies in Cosmic Rays

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 10:13 authored by Hall, DL, Marcus DuldigMarcus Duldig, John Humble
The Sun's interplanetary magnetic field and the solar wind modulate the distribution of galactic cosmic-ray particles in the heliosphere. The particles diffuse inward, convect outward and have drifts in the motion of their gyro-centres. Irregularities in the IMF also scatter particles from their gyro-orbits. These processes are the components of solar modulation and produce streaming (and higher-order anisotropies) of particles in the heliosphere. The anisotropies can be investigated at the Earth by examining the count rates of cosmic-ray detectors. The anisotropic streams appear as diurnal variations in solar and sidereal time in the count rates. Higher-order anisotropies produce generally much smaller semi-diurnal and higher-order variations. Theoretical models of solar modulation predict effects that depend on the polarity of the Sun's magnetic dipole. The solar diurnal and north-south anisotropies can be used to test these predictions. This paper is a short review of analyses of 60 years of cosmic-ray data collected at the Earth for the solar and sidereal diurnal variations present. Past analyses have yielded interesting and controversial results regarding the rigidity spectra and components of these anisotropies. Some of the controversy remains today. Analyses of these anisotropies have also yielded quantitative information about parameters important to solar modulation, such as latitudinal and radial density gradients. The relatively new techniques used for these determinations are explained here. Calculations of these modulation parameters from Earthbased cosmic-ray detectors are reviewed and compared to spaceprobe measurements and theoretical predictions of their values. Recently, investigations of the sidereal and solar diurnal anisotropies have been combined to calculate mean-free-paths of cosmic rays in the heliosphere. The latest conclusions from these analyses are that the parallel mean-free-paths of cosmic rays may depend on the polarity of the Sun's magnetic field. The results of these investigations are included in this paper to indicate the present state of knowledge concerning this facet of cosmic-ray research. © 1996 Kluwer Academic Publishers.


Publication title

Space Science Reviews










School of Natural Sciences


Kluwer Academic Publ

Place of publication

Dordrecht, the Netherlands

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences

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