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Search for heavy dark matter from dwarf spheroidal galaxies: leveraging cascades and subhalo models

Deheng SongNagisa HiroshimaKohta Murase
Jan 2024
The Fermi Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT) has been widely used to search for Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) dark matter signals due to its unparalleled sensitivity in the GeV energy band. The leading constraints for WIMP by Fermi-LAT are obtained from the analyses of dwarf spheroidal galaxies within the Local Group, which are compelling targets for dark matter searches due to their relatively low astrophysical backgrounds and high dark matter content. In the meantime, the search for heavy dark matter with masses above TeV remains a compelling and relatively unexplored frontier. In this study, we utilize 14-year Fermi-LAT data to search for dark matter annihilation and decay signals in 8 classical dwarf spheroidal galaxies within the Local Group. We consider secondary emission caused by electromagnetic cascades of prompt gamma rays and electrons/positrons from dark matter, which enables us to extend the search with Fermi-LAT to heavier dark matter cases. We also update the dark matter subhalo model with informative priors respecting the fact that they reside in subhalos of our Milky Way halo aiming to enhance the robustness of our results. We place constraints on dark matter annihilation cross section and decay lifetime for dark matter masses ranging from $10^3$ GeV to $10^{11}$ GeV, where our limits are more stringent than those obtained by many other high-energy gamma-ray instruments.
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