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Title: Searching for dwarf spheroidal galaxies and other galactic dark matter substructures with the Fermi large area telescope

Over the past century, it has become clear that about a quarter of the known universe is composed of an invisible, massive component termed ''dark matter''. Some of the most popular theories of physics beyond the Standard Model suggest that dark matter may be a new fundamental particle that could self-annihilate to produce γ rays. Nearby over-densities in the dark matter halo of our Milky Way present some of the most promising targets for detecting the annihilation of dark matter. We used the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on-board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to search for γ rays produced by dark matter annihilation in Galactic dark matter substructures. We searched for γ-ray emission coincident with Milky Way dwarf spheroidal satellite galaxies, which trace the most massive Galactic dark matter substructures. We also sought to identify nearby dark matter substructures that lack all astrophysical tracers and would be detectable only through γ-ray emission from dark matter annihilation. We found no conclusive evidence for γ-ray emission from dark matter annihilation, and we set stringent and robust constraints on the dark matter annihilation cross section. While γ-ray searches for dark matter substructure are currently the most sensitive and robust probes of dark mattermore » annihilation, they are just beginning to intersect the theoretically preferred region of dark matter parameter space. Thus, we consider future prospects for increasing the sensitivity of γ-ray searches through improvements to the LAT instrument performance and through upcoming wide- field optical surveys.« less
  1. Stanford Univ., CA (United States). Dept. of Physics
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Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States