Behavior of the Heliosphere over Prolonged Solar Quiet Periods by 44Ti Measurements in Meteorites

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Science  08 Dec 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5242, pp. 1648-1650
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5242.1648


The heliospheric magnetic field (HMF) is controlled by solar activity, as established by measurements over the last few decades, but its characteristics when the sun was quiet for prolonged periods, such as during Gleissberg or Maunder minima, are not known. Titanium-44, produced in meteorites, provides a monitor of the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) flux and allows estimation of the modulation effect of the sun for the period 1883 to 1992. The titanium-44 activity is consistent with the expected value, but the increase, due to the last Gleissberg minimum, is four times greater than expected for a GCR modulation based solely on sunspot numbers. This result implies that the HMF was weaker than at present and as a result the GCR flux (for energy greater than 1 gigaelectron volt) was higher between 2.2 to 3.6 protons per square centimeter per second per 4π steradians at 1 to 3 astronomical units in solar cycles 12 to 15.