Journal Article

Searching for neutrinos from WIMP annihilations in the Galactic stellar disc

Zacharia Myers and Adi Nusser

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 387, issue 4, pages 1712-1718
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Searching for neutrinos from WIMP annihilations in the Galactic stellar disc

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Weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) are a viable candidate for the relic abundance of dark matter (DM) produced in the early universe. So far, WIMPs have eluded direct detection through interactions with baryonic matter. Neutrino emission from accumulated WIMP annihilations in the solar core has been proposed as a signature of DM, but has not yet been detected. These null results may be due to small-scale DM density fluctuations in the halo with the density of our local region being lower than the average (∼0.3 GeV cm−3). However, the accumulated neutrino signal from WIMP annihilations in the Galactic stellar disc would be insensitive to local density variations. Inside the disc, DM can be captured by stars causing an enhanced annihilation rate and therefore a potentially higher neutrino flux than what would be observed from elsewhere in the halo. We estimate a neutrino flux from the WIMP annihilations in the stellar disc to be enhanced by more than an order of magnitude compared to the neutrino fluxes from the halo. We offer a conservative estimate for this enhanced flux, based on the WIMP–nucleon cross-sections obtained from direct-detection experiments by assuming a density of ∼0.3 GeV cm−3 for the local DM. We also compare the detectability of these fluxes with a signal of diffuse high-energy neutrinos produced in the Milky Way by the interaction of cosmic rays with the interstellar medium. These comparative signals should be observable by large neutrino detectors.

Keywords: neutrinos; cosmic rays; dark matter

Journal Article.  5078 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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