Galactic Cosmic Rays at Mars and Venus: Temporal Variations from Hours to Decades Measured as the Background Signal of Onboard Micro-Channel Plates
- 1Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Solar System Physics and Space Technology, Kiruna, Sweden (email@example.com)
- 2IRAP, Toulouse, France
A Micro-Channel Plate (MCP) is a widely used component for counting particles in space. Using the background counts of MCPs on Mars Express and Venus Express orbiters operated over 17 years and 8 years, respectively, we investigate the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) characteristics in the inner solar system. The MCP background counts at Mars and Venus on a solar cycle time scale exhibit clear anti-correlation to the sunspot number. We conclude that the measured MCP background contain the GCR information. The GCR characteristics measured using the MCP background at Mars show features that are consistent with the ground-based measurement in solar cycle 24. The time lag between the sunspot number and the MCP background at Mars is found ~9 months. The shorter-term background data recorded along the orbits (with a time scale of several hours) also show evident depletion of the background counts due to the absorption of the GCR particles by the planets. Thanks to the visible planetary size change along an orbit, the GCR contribution to the MCP background can be separated from the internal contribution due to the β-decay. Our statistical analysis of the GCR absorption signatures at Mars implies that the effective absorption size of Mars for the GCR particles have a >100 km larger radius than the solid Martian body.
How to cite: Futaana, Y., Shimoyama, M., Wieser, M., Karlsson, S., Andersson, H., Nilsson, H., Wang, X.-D., Fedorov, A., Andre, N., Holmstrom, M., and Barabash, S.: Galactic Cosmic Rays at Mars and Venus: Temporal Variations from Hours to Decades Measured as the Background Signal of Onboard Micro-Channel Plates, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-633, https://doi.org/10.5194/epsc2022-633, 2022.