Abe Falcone, James Ryan University of New Hampshire, Morse Hall, Durham, NH 03824 USA for Milagro Collaboration
Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs) with energies exceeding 10 GeV from the 6 November 1997 solar flare/CME were detected with Milagrito, a prototype of the Milagro Gamma Ray Observatory. While SEP acceleration beyond 1 GeV is well established, few data exist for protons or ions beyond 10 GeV. The Milagro observatory, a ground based water Cherenkov detector designed for observing very high energy gamma ray sources, can also be used to study the Sun. Milagrito, which operated for approximately one year in 1997/98, was sensitive to solar proton and neutron fluxes above ~ 4 GeV. Milagrito operated in a scaler mode, which was primarily sensitive to muons, low energy photons, and electrons, and the detector operated in a mode sensitive to showers and high zenith angle muons. In its scaler mode, Milagrito registered a rate increase coincident with the 6 November 1997 ground level event observed by Climax and other neutron monitors. A preliminary analysis suggests the presence of >10 GeV particles.