Wednesday, April 09, 2014

[1402.6703] The Characterization of the Gamma-Ray Signal from the Central Milky Way: A Compelling Case for Annihilating Dark Matter

[1402.6703] The Characterization of the Gamma-Ray Signal from the Central Milky Way: A Compelling Case for Annihilating Dark Matter:



Past studies have identified a spatially extended excess of ~1-3 GeV gamma rays from the region surrounding the Galactic Center, consistent with the emission expected from annihilating dark matter. We revisit and scrutinize this signal with the intention of further constraining its characteristics and origin. By applying cuts to the Fermi event parameter CTBCORE, we suppress the tails of the point spread function and generate high resolution gamma-ray maps, enabling us to more easily separate the various gamma-ray components. Within these maps, we find the GeV excess to be robust and highly statistically significant, with a spectrum, angular distribution, and overall normalization that is in good agreement with that predicted by simple annihilating dark matter models. For example, the signal is very well fit by a 31-40 GeV dark matter particle annihilating to b quarks with an annihilation cross section of sigma v = (1.4-2.0) x 10^-26 cm^3/s (normalized to a local dark matter density of 0.3 GeV/cm^3). Furthermore, we confirm that the angular distribution of the excess is approximately spherically symmetric and centered around the dynamical center of the Milky Way (within ~0.05 degrees of Sgr A*), showing no sign of elongation along or perpendicular to the Galactic Plane. The signal is observed to extend to at least 10 degrees from the Galactic Center, disfavoring the possibility that this emission originates from millisecond pulsars.



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