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Astrophysics > High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena

Title: Two Emission Mechanisms in the Fermi Bubbles: A Possible Signal of Annihilating Dark Matter

Authors: Dan Hooper, Tracy R. Slatyer
(Submitted on 26 Feb 2013)
Abstract: We study the variation of the spectrum of the Fermi Bubbles with Galactic latitude. Far from the Galactic plane (|b| > 30 degrees), the observed gamma-ray emission is nearly invariant with latitude, and is consistent with arising from inverse Compton scattering of the interstellar radiation field by cosmic-ray electrons with an approximately power-law spectrum. The same electrons in the presence of microgauss-scale magnetic fields can also generate the the observed microwave "haze". At lower latitudes (b < 20 degrees), in contrast, the spectrum of the emission correlated with the Bubbles possesses a pronounced spectral feature peaking at 1-4 GeV (in E^2 dN/dE) which cannot be generated by any realistic spectrum of electrons. Instead, we conclude that a second (non-inverse-Compton) emission mechanism must be responsible for the bulk of the low-energy, low-latitude emission. This second component is spectrally similar to the excess GeV emission previously reported from the Galactic Center (GC), and also appears spatially consistent with a luminosity per volume falling approximately as r^-2.4, where r is the distance from the GC. We argue that the spectral feature visible in the low-latitude Bubbles is the extended counterpart of the GC excess, now detected out to at least 2-3 kpc from the GC. The spectrum and angular distribution of the signal is consistent with that predicted from ~10 GeV dark matter particles annihilating to leptons, or from ~50 GeV dark matter particles annihilating to quarks, following a distribution similar to the canonical Navarro-Frenk-White (NFW) profile. We also consider millisecond pulsars as a possible astrophysical explanation for the signal, as observed millisecond pulsars possess a spectral cutoff at approximately the required energy. Any such scenario would require a large population of unresolved millisecond pulsars extending at least 2-3 kpc from the GC.
Comments: 26 pages, 20 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)
Report number: FERMILAB-PUB-13-052-A
Cite as: arXiv:1302.6589 [astro-ph.HE]
  (or arXiv:1302.6589v1 [astro-ph.HE] for this version)

Submission history

From: Tracy Slatyer [view email]
[v1] Tue, 26 Feb 2013 21:00:01 GMT (2027kb,D)
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