Trajectory Analysis of Galactic Cosmic Rays Invading into the Heliosphere

Kotaro Yoshida, Shuichi Matsukiyo, Kesuke Shimokawa, Haruichi Washimi, Tohru Hada

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The trajectories of galactic cosmic-ray protons invading the heliosphere are investigated by using numerical simulations. A time stationary global heliosphere is first reproduced by using a high-resolution MHD simulation. Then, motions of a number of test particles (protons) distributed in the virtual heliosphere are numerically solved. When the initial particle Lorentz factor is 10 (∼10 GeV), the motions of particles are strongly affected by small-scale heliospheric structures reflecting the small gyroradii of the particles. Particles can enter the heliosphere from many parts (nose, flank, and tail) of the heliopause. Once they have entered, they expand in the region where the magnetic field is locally weak, such as the heliopause and the heliospheric current sheet. On the other hand, particles have difficulty invading upstream of the termination shock. We found a variety of invading particle trajectory patterns such as current sheet drift, polar drift, spiral motion, shock drift, and Fermi-like acceleration. In the latter two, particles are accelerated. When the initial particle Lorentz factor is 1000 (∼1 TeV), the particles are insensitive to the small-scale structures of the heliosphere due to their large gyroradii. Some particles show eccentric motions due to resonant interaction with the large-scale eddy in the heliotail. Some other particles passing by the heliosphere are mirror reflected due to the bottleneck structure of interstellar magnetic field surrounding the heliosphere and return back to enter the heliosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 20 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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