Journal Article

Dark matter detection with hard X-ray telescopes

Tesla E. Jeltema and Stefano Profumo

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 421, issue 2, pages 1215-1221
Published in print April 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Dark matter detection with hard X-ray telescopes

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We analyse the impact of future hard X-ray observations on the search for indirect signatures of particle dark matter in large extragalactic systems such as nearby clusters or groups of galaxies. We argue that the hard X-ray energy band falls squarely at the peak of the inverse-Compton emission from electrons and positrons produced by dark matter annihilation or decay for a large class of dark matter models. Specifically, the most promising are low-mass models with a hard electron–positron annihilation final state spectrum and intermediate-mass models with a soft electron–positron spectrum. We find that constraints on dark matter models similar to the current constraints from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope will be close to the sensitivity limit of the near-term hard X-ray telescopes Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and Astro-H for relatively long observations. An instrument like the Wide Field Imager proposed for Advanced Telescope for High ENergy Astrophysics (ATHENA) would instead give a significant gain in sensitivity to dark matter if placed in a low background orbit similar to NuSTAR’s; however, given the higher expected background level for ATHENA’s proposed orbit at L2, its sensitivity will be similar to that of NuSTAR.

Keywords: acceleration of particles; radiation mechanisms: non-thermal; galaxies: clusters: general; dark matter; X-rays: galaxies: clusters

Journal Article.  5663 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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