Uncovering a gamma-ray excess at the galactic center

At left is a map of gamma rays with energies between 1 and 3.16 GeV detected in the galactic center by Fermi’s LAT; red indicates the greatest number. Prominent pulsars are labeled. Removing all known gamma-ray sources (right) reveals excess emission that may arise from dark matter annihilations. Image Credit: T. Linden, Univ. of Chicago
Grazie ad una serie di osservazioni del centro galattico eseguite con il telescopio spaziale Fermi ad opera di un gruppo di ricercatori appartenenti al Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), all’Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), al Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) e all’University of Chicago, emerge che l’eccesso di emissione di alta energia visibile di raggi gamma possa essere associato con qualche forma di materia scura, forse l’indizio più forte ad oggi in mano agli astronomi.

The new maps allow us to analyze the excess and test whether more conventional explanations, such as the presence of undiscovered pulsars or cosmic-ray collisions on gas clouds, can account for it“, said Dan Hooper, an astrophysicist at Fermilab in Batavia, Ill., and a lead author of the study. “The signal we find cannot be explained by currently proposed alternatives and is in close agreement with the predictions of very simple dark matter models“.

More at NASA: Fermi Data Tantalize With New Clues To Dark Matter

arXiv: The characterization of the gamma-ray signal from the central Milky Way: A compelling case for annihilating dark matter

The following animation zooms into an image of the Milky Way, shown in visible light, and superimposes a gamma-ray map of the galactic center from NASA’s Fermi. Raw data transitions to a view with all known sources removed, revealing a gamma-ray excess hinting at the presence of dark matter.

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