, Volume 35, Issue 12, pp 1371-1381

Spatial distribution of albedo particles on altitudes ∼500 km

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Abstract

Spatial distributions of energetic charged particles, neutrons and gamma rays at altitude ∼500 km (below the radiation belts of the Earth), obtained by the measurements of two apparatuses on board the Intercosmos-17 satellite, are presented. The latitudinal dependences, [i.e. the variation of flux with vertical cut-off rigidity of the measurement point], for neutrons (E n = 1 –30 MeV), gamma rays (E γ=0·15−6 MeV), secondary electrons (E e > 100 MeV) and for primary protons coming from the west and the east, respectively, are given. The main characteristic, the ratioN p/N e of the counting rate of the particles in the polar regionN p(Rvert< <0·1 GeV/c) and on the equatorN e(Rvert > 16 GeV/c), is obtained for the various types of particles. This value is 10 for neutrons, 3.7 for gamma rays, 1·8 for electrons, 11 for protons in westward direction, 10 for protons in eastward direction. The latitude profile of neutrons and gamma rays is in a good agreement with calculations assuming their production by nuclear reactions of primary cosmic rays with nuclei of the atmosphere. The weakening of rigidity dependence of protons coming from east in comparison with those coming from the west, is interpreted as the cause of additional proton albedo flux. The equality of albedo electron fluxes (Ee = 100–3500 MeV) from these directions is observed. With the use of the shadowing effect the obtained data on electron-positron component are consistent with the flux of albedo positrons (Ee + > 3·5 GeV) of the value (0·5±0·2) m−2. s−1. ster−1. The possibility of abundance of albedo positrons above electrons at these altitudes for the energy intervalE=0·2÷0·3 GeV is indicated.