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  1. Abstract

    We present deep optical imaging and photometry of four objects classified as “Almost-Dark” galaxies in the Arecibo Legacy Fast Arecibo L-band Feed Array (ALFALFA) survey because of their gas-rich nature and extremely faint or missing optical emission in existing catalogs. They have Himasses of 107–109Mand distances of ∼9–100 Mpc. Observations with the WIYN 3.5 m telescope and One Degree Imager reveal faint stellar components with central surface brightnesses of ∼24–25magarcsec2in thegband. We also present the results of Hisynthesis observations with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. These Almost-Dark galaxies have been identified as possible tidal dwarf galaxies (TDGs) based on their proximity to one or more massive galaxies. We demonstrate that AGC 229398 and AGC 333576 likely have the low dark matter content and large effective radii representative of TDGs. They are located much farther from their progenitors than previously studied TDGs, suggesting they are older and more evolved. AGC 219369 is likely dark matter dominated, while AGC 123216 has a dark matter content that is unusually high for a TDG, but low for a normal dwarf galaxy. We consider possible mechanisms for the formation of the TDG candidates such as a traditional major merger scenario and gas ejection from a high-velocity flyby. Blind Hisurveys like ALFALFA enable the detection of gas-rich, optically faint TDGs that can be overlooked in other surveys, thereby providing a more complete census of the low-mass galaxy population and an opportunity to study TDGs at a more advanced stage of their life cycle.

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  2. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Adopting the Standard Halo Model (SHM) of an isotropic Maxwellian velocity distribution for dark matter (DM) particles in the Galaxy, the most stringent current constraints on their spin-dependent scattering cross-section with nucleons come from the IceCube neutrino observatory and the PICO-60 $$\hbox {C}_3\hbox {F}_8$$ C 3 F 8 superheated bubble chamber experiments. The former is sensitive to high energy neutrinos from the self-annihilation of DM particles captured in the Sun, while the latter looks for nuclear recoil events from DM scattering off nucleons. Although slower DM particles are more likely to be captured by the Sun, the faster ones are more likely to be detected by PICO. Recent N-body simulations suggest significant deviations from the SHM for the smooth halo component of the DM, while observations hint at a dominant fraction of the local DM being in substructures. We use the method of Ferrer et al. (JCAP 1509: 052, 2015) to exploit the complementarity between the two approaches and derive conservative constraints on DM-nucleon scattering. Our results constrain $$\sigma _{\mathrm{SD}} \lesssim 3 \times 10^{-39} \mathrm {cm}^2$$ σ SD ≲ 3 × 10 - 39 cm 2 ( $$6 \times 10^{-38} \mathrm {cm}^2$$ 6 × 10 - 38 cm 2 ) at $$\gtrsim 90\%$$ ≳ 90 % C.L. for a DM particle of mass 1 TeV annihilating into $$\tau ^+ \tau ^-$$ τ + τ - ( $$b\bar{b}$$ b b ¯ ) with a local density of $$\rho _{\mathrm{DM}} = 0.3~\mathrm {GeV/cm}^3$$ ρ DM = 0.3 GeV / cm 3 . The constraints scale inversely with $$\rho _{\mathrm{DM}}$$ ρ DM and are independent of the DM velocity distribution. 
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