Publication: Galactic Cosmic-Ray Anisotropies: Voyager 1 in the Local Interstellar Medium

Monday, Mar 4, 2019

Since crossing the heliopause on 2012 August 25, Voyager 1 observed reductions in galactic cosmic ray count rates caused by a time-varying depletion of particles with pitch angles near 90°, while intensities of particles with other pitch angles remain unchanged. Between late 2012 and mid-2017, three large-scale events occurred, lasting from ~100 to ~630 days. Omnidirectional and directional high-energy data from Voyager 1's Cosmic Ray Subsystem are used to report cosmic ray intensity variations. Omnidirectional (gsim20 MeV) proton-dominated measurements show up to a 3.8% intensity reduction. Bidirectional (gsim70 MeV) proton-dominated measurements taken from various spacecraft orientations provide insight about the depletion region's spatial properties. We characterize the anisotropy as a "notch" in an otherwise uniform pitch angle distribution of varying depth and width centered about 90° in pitch angle space. The notch averages 22° wide and 15% deep, signifying a depletion region that is broad and shallow. There are indications that the anisotropy is formed by a combination of magnetic trapping and cooling downstream of solar-induced transient disturbances in a region that is also likely influenced by the highly compressed fields near the heliopause.


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