Mapping Extragalactic Dark Matter Annihilation with Galaxy Surveys: A Systematic Study of Stacked Group Searches

1 Sep 2017  ·  Mariangela Lisanti, Siddharth Mishra-Sharma, Nicholas L. Rodd, Benjamin R. Safdi, Risa H. Wechsler ·

Dark matter in the halos surrounding galaxy groups and clusters can annihilate to high-energy photons. Recent advancements in the construction of galaxy group catalogs provide many thousands of potential extragalactic targets for dark matter. In this paper, we outline a procedure to infer the dark matter signal associated with a given galaxy group. Applying this procedure to a catalog of sources, one can create a full-sky map of the brightest extragalactic dark matter targets in the nearby Universe ($z\lesssim 0.03$), supplementing sources of dark matter annihilation from within the Local Group. As with searches for dark matter in dwarf galaxies, these extragalactic targets can be stacked together to enhance the signals associated with dark matter. We validate this procedure on mock $\textit{Fermi}$ gamma-ray data sets using a galaxy catalog constructed from the $\texttt{DarkSky}$ $N$-body cosmological simulation and demonstrate that the limits are robust, at $\mathcal{O}(1)$ levels, to systematic uncertainties on halo mass and concentration. We also quantify other sources of systematic uncertainty arising from the analysis and modeling assumptions. Our results suggest that a stacking analysis using galaxy group catalogs provides a powerful opportunity to discover extragalactic dark matter and complements existing studies of Milky Way dwarf galaxies.

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Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena High Energy Physics - Phenomenology