High-energy cosmic ray modulation associated with interplanetary shocks observed by the GMDN
2017 August 16
Interplanetary shocks are caused both by interplanetary counterparts of coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) and by co-rotating interaction regions (CIRs) propagating in the interplanetary medium. CIRs are formed by the interaction between high-speed and slow solar wind streams. When the interplanetary disturbance propagates faster than the magnetosonic wave speed, in the solar wind frame, a shock wave is formed. Shocks frequently produce decreases of cosmic rays observed both by neutron monitors and muon detectors located at the Earth’s surface. In this work, we analyze this kind of modulation of high-energy cosmic rays (> 50 GeV) observed by the Global Muon Detector Network (GMDN). After correcting both the atmospheric temperature and pressure effects, we calculated the isotropic intensity and the anisotropy vector. From a list of 38 interplanetary shocks identified in 2015 using interplanetary magnetic field and plasma parameters, we performed a superposed epoch analysis grouping the events by type and orientation of shocks. We found that the cosmic ray isotropic intensity is higher when it is associated to fast forward shocks when compared to fast reverse shocks. We also identified some differences in the anisotropy vector when comparing different types of shocks or shocks that are quasi-perpendicular with the remaining ones.