, Volume 245, Issue 2, pp 369-390

Cosmic-Ray Modulation: An Empirical Relation with Solar and Heliospheric Parameters

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Abstract

Long-term variations of galactic cosmic rays were compared with the behavior of various solar activity indices and heliospheric parameters during the current solar cycle. This study continues previous works where the cosmic-ray intensity for the solar cycles 20, 21, and 22 was well simulated from the linear combination of the sunspot number, the number of grouped solar flares, and the geomagnetic index A p. The application of this model to the current solar cycle characterized by many peculiarities and extreme solar events led us to study more empirical relations between solar-heliospheric variables, such as the interplanetary magnetic field, coronal mass ejections, and the tilt of the heliospheric current sheet, and cosmic-ray modulation. By analyzing monthly cosmic-ray data from the Neutron Monitor Stations of Oulu (cutoff rigidity 0.81 GV) and Moscow (2.42 GV) the contribution of these parameters in the ascending, maximum, and descending phases of the cycle was investigated and it is shown that a combination of these parameters reproduces the majority of the modulation potential variations during this cycle. The approach applied makes it possible to better describe the behavior of cosmic rays in the epochs of the solar maxima, which could not be done before. An extended study of the time profiles, the correlations, and the time lags of the cosmic-ray intensity against these parameters using the method of minimizing RMS over all the considered period 1996 – 2006 determines characteristic properties of this cycle as being an odd cycle. Moreover, the obtained hysteresis curves and a correlative analysis during the positive polarity (qA>0, where q is the particle charge) and during the negative polarity (qA<0) intervals of the cycle result in significantly different behavior between solar and heliospheric parameters. The time lag and the correlation coefficient of the cosmic-ray intensity are higher for the solar indices in comparison to the heliospheric ones. A similar behavior also appears in the case of the intervals with positive and negative polarity of the solar magnetic field.