Challenges in Detecting Gamma-Rays From Dark Matter Annihilations in the Galactic Center

Gabrijela Zaharijas and Dan Hooper

(1) Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Particle Astrophysics Center, Batavia, IL 60510

Paper: astro-ph/0603540

EPrint Server: astro-ph/0603540


Atmospheric Cerenkov Telescopes, including HESS and MAGIC, have detected a spectrum of gamma-rays from the galactic center region which extends from 200 GeV or lower, to at least 10 TeV. Although the source of this radiation is not yet known, the spectrum appears to behave as a simple power-law, which is not the expectation for gamma-rays generated through the annihilation of dark matter particles. If instead we conclude that the source of these gamma-rays is astrophysical in origin, this spectrum will constitute a background for future dark matter searches using gamma-rays from this region. In this paper we study how this background will affect the prospects for experiments such as GLAST to detect dark matter in the galactic center. We find that only a narrow range of dark matter annihilation rates are potentially observable by GLAST given this newly discovered background and considering current constraints from EGRET and HESS. We also find that a detection of line emission, while not completely ruled out, is only possible for a very narrow range of dark matter models and halo profiles.

Preprints available from the authors at , or the raw TeX (no figures) if you click here.

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