skip to main content

Title: Search for Ultraheavy Dark Matter from Observations of Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies with VERITAS
Abstract Dark matter is a key piece of the current cosmological scenario, with weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) a leading dark matter candidate. WIMPs have not been detected in their conventional parameter space (100 GeV ≲ M χ ≲ 100 TeV), a mass range accessible with current Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes. As ultraheavy dark matter (UHDM; M χ ≳ 100 TeV) has been suggested as an underexplored alternative to the WIMP paradigm, we search for an indirect dark matter annihilation signal in a higher mass range (up to 30 PeV) with the VERITAS γ -ray observatory. With 216 hr of observations of four dwarf spheroidal galaxies, we perform an unbinned likelihood analysis. We find no evidence of a γ -ray signal from UHDM annihilation above the background fluctuation for any individual dwarf galaxy nor for a joint-fit analysis, and consequently constrain the velocity-weighted annihilation cross section of UHDM for dark matter particle masses between 1 TeV and 30 PeV. We additionally set constraints on the allowed radius of a composite UHDM particle.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2011361 2110974 2200857 2209437 1913552 2209605 1913798 2012916 2110737 2011420
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract For decades, searches for electroweak-scale dark matter (DM) have been performed without a definitive detection. This lack of success may hint that DM searches have focused on the wrong mass range. A proposed candidate beyond the canonical parameter space is ultraheavy DM (UHDM). In this work, we consider indirect UHDM annihilation searches for masses between 30 TeV and 30 PeV—extending well beyond the unitarity limit at ∼100 TeV—and discuss the basic requirements for DM models in this regime. We explore the feasibility of detecting the annihilation signature, and the expected reach for UHDM with current and future very-high-energy (VHE; >100 GeV) γ -ray observatories. Specifically, we focus on three reference instruments: two Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope arrays, modeled on VERITAS and CTA-North, and one extended air shower array, motivated by HAWC. With reasonable assumptions on the instrument response functions and background rate, we find a set of UHDM parameters (mass and cross section) for which a γ -ray signature can be detected by the aforementioned observatories. We further compute the expected upper limits for each experiment. With realistic exposure times, the three instruments can probe DM across a wide mass range. At the lower end, it can still have a point-like cross section, while at higher masses the DM could have a geometric cross section, indicative of compositeness. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract We present the results of dark matter (DM) searches in a sample of 31 dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxies within the field of view of the HAWC Observatory. dIrr galaxies are DM-dominated objects in which astrophysical gamma-ray emission is estimated to be negligible with respect to the secondary gamma-ray flux expected by annihilation or decay of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). While we do not see any statistically significant DM signal in dIrr galaxies, we present the exclusion limits (95% C.L.) for annihilation cross section and decay lifetime for WIMP candidates with masses between 1 and 100 TeV. Exclusion limits from dIrr galaxies are relevant and complementary to benchmark dwarf Spheroidal (dSph) galaxies. In fact, dIrr galaxies are targets kinematically different from benchmark dSph, preserving the footprints of different evolution histories. We compare the limits from dIrr galaxies to those from ultrafaint and classical dSph galaxies previously observed with HAWC. We find that the constraints are comparable to the limits from classical dSph galaxies and ∼2 orders of magnitude weaker than the ultrafaint dSph limits. 
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT The first bright objects to form in the Universe might not have been ‘ordinary’ fusion-powered stars, but ‘dark stars’ (DSs) powered by the annihilation of dark matter (DM) in the form of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). If discovered, DSs can provide a unique laboratory to test DM models. DSs are born with a mass of the order of M⊙ and may grow to a few million solar masses; in this work we investigate the properties of early DSs with masses up to $\sim \! 1000 \, \mathrm{ M}_\odot$, fueled by WIMPS weighing 100 GeV. We improve the previous implementation of the DM energy source into the stellar evolution code mesa. We show that the growth of DSs is not limited by astrophysical effects: DSs up to $\sim \!1000 \, \mathrm{ M}_{\odot }$ exhibit no dynamical instabilities; DSs are not subject to mass-loss driven by super-Eddington winds. We test the assumption of previous work that the injected energy per WIMP annihilation is constant throughout the star; relaxing this assumption does not change the properties of the DSs. Furthermore, we study DS pulsations, for the first time investigating non-adiabatic pulsation modes, using the linear pulsation code gyre. We find that acoustic modes in DSs of masses smaller than $\sim \! 200 \, \mathrm{ M}_\odot$ are excited by the κ − γ and γ mechanism in layers where hydrogen or helium is (partially) ionized. Moreover, we show that the mass-loss rates potentially induced by pulsations are negligible compared to the accretion rates. 
    more » « less
  4. A bstract The production of dark matter in association with Higgs bosons is predicted in several extensions of the Standard Model. An exploration of such scenarios is presented, considering final states with missing transverse momentum and b -tagged jets consistent with a Higgs boson. The analysis uses proton-proton collision data at a centre-of-mass energy of 13 TeV recorded by the ATLAS experiment at the LHC during Run 2, amounting to an integrated luminosity of 139 fb − 1 . The analysis, when compared with previous searches, benefits from a larger dataset, but also has further improvements providing sensitivity to a wider spectrum of signal scenarios. These improvements include both an optimised event selection and advances in the object identification, such as the use of the likelihood-based significance of the missing transverse momentum and variable-radius track-jets. No significant deviation from Standard Model expectations is observed. Limits are set, at 95% confidence level, in two benchmark models with two Higgs doublets extended by either a heavy vector boson Z ′ or a pseudoscalar singlet a and which both provide a dark matter candidate χ . In the case of the two-Higgs-doublet model with an additional vector boson Z ′, the observed limits extend up to a Z ′ mass of 3 TeV for a mass of 100 GeV for the dark matter candidate. The two-Higgs-doublet model with a dark matter particle mass of 10 GeV and an additional pseudoscalar a is excluded for masses of the a up to 520 GeV and 240 GeV for tan β = 1 and tan β = 10 respectively. Limits on the visible cross-sections are set and range from to 0.05 fb to 3.26 fb, depending on the missing transverse momentum and b -quark jet multiplicity requirements. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract Any dark matter spikes surrounding black holes in our Galaxy are sites of significant dark matter annihilation, leading to a potentially detectable neutrino signal. In this paper we examine 10 - 10 5 M ⊙ black holes associated with dark matter spikes that formed in early minihalos and still exist in our Milky Way Galaxy today, in light of neutrino data from the ANTARES [1] and IceCube [2] detectors. In various regions of the sky, we determine the minimum distance away from the solar system that a dark matter spike must be in order to have not been detected as a neutrino point source for a variety of representative dark matter annihilation channels. Given these constraints on the distribution of dark matter spikes in the Galaxy, we place significant limits on the formation of the first generation of stars in early minihalos — stronger than previous limits from gamma-ray searches in Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope data. The larger black holes considered in this paper may arise as the remnants of Dark Stars after the dark matter fuel is exhausted; thus neutrino observations may be used to constrain the properties of Dark Stars. The limits are particularly strong for heavier WIMPs. For WIMP masses ∼ 5TeV, we show that ≲ 10 % of minihalos can host first stars that collapse into BHs larger than 10 3 M ⊙ . 
    more » « less