Using data collected by the MACRO experiment from 1989 to the end of its operations in 2000, we have studied in the underground muon flux the shadowing effects due to both the Moon and the Sun. We have observed the shadow cast by the Moon at its apparent position with a significance of 6.5σ. The Moon shadowing effect has been used to verify the pointing capability of the detector and to determine the instrument resolution for the search of muon excesses from any direction of the celestial sphere. The dependence of the effect on the geomagnetic field is clearly shown by splitting the data sample in day and night observations. The Sun shadow, observed with a significance of 4.6σ is displaced by about 0.6° from its apparent position. In this case however the explanation resides in the configuration of the Solar and Interplanetary Magnetic Fields, which affect the propagation of cosmic ray particles between the Sun, and the Earth. The displacement of the Sun shadow with respect to the real Sun position has been used to establish an upper limit on the antimatter flux in cosmic rays of about 48% at 68% c.l. and primary energies of about 20 TeV.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the director and of the staff of the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso and the invaluable assistance of the technical staff of the Institutions participating in the experiment. We thank the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), the US Department of Energy and the US National Science Foundation for their generous support of the MACRO experiment. We thank INFN, ICTP (Trieste), WorldLab and NATO for providing fellowships and grants (FAI) for non-Italian citizens.
- Geomagnetic field
- IMF field
- Moon shadowing
- Primary antimatter
- Sun shadowing
- Underground muons