Modelling of galactic carbon in an asymmetrical heliosphere: effects of asymmetrical modulation conditions

23 September 2013

Observations of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) from the two Voyager spacecraft inside the heliosheath indicate significant differences between them, suggesting that in addition to a possible global asymmetry in the north–south dimensions (meridional plane) of the heliosphere, it is also possible that different modulation (turbulence) conditions could exist between the two hemispheres of the heliosphere. We focus on illustrating the effects on GCR Carbon of asymmetrical modulation conditions combined with a heliosheath thickness that has a significant dependence on heliolatitude. To reflect different modulation conditions between the two heliospheric hemispheres in our numerical model, the enhancement of both polar and radial perpendicular diffusion off the ecliptic plane is assumed to differ from heliographic pole to pole. The computed radial GCR intensities at polar angles of 55° (approximating the Voyager 1 direction) and 125° (approximating the Voyager 2 direction) are compared at different energies and for both particle drift cycles. This is done in the context of illustrating how different values of the enhancement of both polar and radial perpendicular diffusion between the two hemispheres contribute to causing differences in radial intensities during solar minimum and moderate maximum conditions. We find that in the A > 0 cycle these differences between 55° and 125° change both quantitatively and qualitatively for the assumed asymmetrical modulation condition as reflected by polar diffusion, while in the A < 0 cycle, minute quantitative differences are obtained. However, when both polar and radial perpendicular diffusion have significant latitude dependences, major differences in radial intensities between the two polar angles are obtained in both polarity cycles. Furthermore, significant differences in radial intensity gradients obtained in the heliosheath at lower energies may suggest that the solar wind turbulence at and beyond the solar wind termination shock must have a larger latitudinal dependence.