Journal Article

Dark matter annihilation effects on the first stars

F. Iocco, A. Bressan, E. Ripamonti, R. Schneider, A. Ferrara and P. Marigo

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 390, issue 4, pages 1655-1669
Published in print November 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13853.x
Dark matter annihilation effects on the first stars

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We study the effects of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) dark matter (DM) on the collapse and evolution of the first stars in the Universe. Using a stellar evolution code, we follow the pre-main-sequence (pre-MS) phase of a grid of metal-free stars with masses in the range 5 ≤M*≤ 600 M forming in the centre of a 106M halo at z= 20. DM particles of the parent halo are accreted in the protostellar interior by adiabatic contraction and scattering/capture processes, reaching central densities of O(1012 GeV cm−3) at radii of the order of 10 au. Energy release from annihilation reactions can effectively counteract the gravitational collapse, in agreement with results from other groups. We find this stalling phase (known as a dark star) is transient and lasts from 2.1 × 103yr (M*= 600 M) to 1.8 × 104yr (M*= 9 M). Later in the evolution, DM scattering/capture rate becomes high enough that energy deposition from annihilations significantly alters the pre-MS evolution of the star in a way that depends on DM (i) velocity dispersion, , (ii) density, ρ, (iii) elastic scattering cross-section with baryons, σ0. For our fiducial set of parameters we find that the evolution of stars of mass M* < 40 M‘freezes’ on the HR diagram before reaching the zero-age main sequence (ZAMS). Stars with M*≥ 40 M manage to ignite nuclear reactions; however, DM ‘burning’ prolongs their lifetimes by a factor of 2 (5) for a 600 M (40 M) star. For ρ≳ 1012GeV cm−3, and same values of the other parameters, we find that all our models are entirely supported by DM annihilation and ‘freeze’ on the HR diagram before igniting nuclear reactions.

Keywords: stars: evolution; stars: pre-main-sequence; dark matter; early Universe

Journal Article.  9917 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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