Search for 511 keV emission in satellite galaxies of the Milky Way with INTEGRAL/SPI
1 Max-Planck-Institut für
extraterrestrische Physik, Gießenbachstraße, 85741
2 Excellence Cluster Universe, Boltzmannstraße 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
3 Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, Department of Physics, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
4 Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
5 School of Physical Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7005, Australia
Accepted: 30 July 2016
Context. The positron (e+) annihilation γ-ray signal in the Milky Way (MW) shows a puzzling morphology: a very bright bulge and a very low surface-brightness disk. A coherent explanation of the e+ origin, propagation through the Galaxy and subsequent annihilation in the interstellar medium has not yet been found. Tentative explanations involve e+s from radioactivity, X-ray binaries, and dark matter (DM).
Aims. Dwarf satellite galaxies (DSGs) are believed to be dominated by DM and hence are promising candidates in the search for 511 keV emission as a result of DM annihilation into e+e−-pairs. The goal of this study is to constrain possible 511 keV γ-ray signals from 39 DSGs of the MW and to test the annihilating DM scenario.
Methods. We used the spectrometer SPI on INTEGRAL to extract individual spectra for the studied objects in the range 490−530 keV. As the diffuse galactic 511 keV emission dominates the overall signal, we modelled the large-scale morphology of the MW accordingly and included this in a maximum likelihood analysis. Alternatively, a distance-weighted stacked spectrum was determined, representing an average DSG seen in 511 keV.
Results. Only Reticulum II (Ret II) shows a 3.1σ signal. Five other sources show tentative 2σ signals. The ratio of mass to 511 keV luminosity, Υ511, shows a marginal trend towards higher values for intrinsically brighter objects in contrast to the mass-to-light ratio, ΥV in the V band, which is generally used to uncover DM in DSGs.
Conclusions. All derived 511 keV flux values or upper limits are above the flux level implied by a DM interpretation of the MW bulge signal. The signal detected from Ret II is unlikely to be related to a DM origin alone, otherwise, the MW bulge would be ~100 times brighter in 511 keV than what is seen with SPI. Ret II is exceptional considering the DSG sample and rather points to enhanced recent star formation activity if its origins are similar to processes in the MW. Understanding this emission may provide further clues regarding the origin of the annihilation emission in the MW bulge.
Key words: gamma rays: general / ISM: general / galaxies: dwarf / techniques: spectroscopic / dark matter
© ESO 2016