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Astronomy and Astrophysics


Aims.Several experiments have reported observations on possible correlations between the flux of high energy muons and intense solar flares. If confirmed, these observations would have significant implications for acceleration processes in the heliosphere able to accelerate protons and other ions to energies of at least tens of GeV. Methods.The solar flare of the 14 of July 2000 offered a unique opportunity for the L3+C experiment to search for a correlated enhancement in the flux of muons using the L3 precision muon spectrometer. Its capabilities for observing a directional excess in the flux of muons above 15 GeV (corresponding to primary proton energies above 40 GeV) are presented along with observations made on the 14th of July 2000. Results.We report an excess which appeared at a time coincident with the peak increase of solar protons observed at lower energies. The probability that the excess is a background fluctuation is estimated to be 1%. No similar excess of the muon flux was observed up to 1.5 h after the solar flare time.



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