Search for Dark Matter Annihilations towards the Inner Galactic Halo from 10 Years of Observations with H.E.S.S.
The inner region of the Milky Way halo harbors a large amount of dark matter (DM). Given its proximity, it is one of the most promising targets to look for DM. We report on a search for the annihilations of DM particles using γ -ray observations towards the inner 300 pc of the Milky Way, with the H.E.S.S. array of ground-based Cherenkov telescopes. The analysis is based on a 2D maximum likelihood method using Galactic Center (GC) data accumulated by H.E.S.S. over the last 10 years (2004-2014), and does not show any significant γ -ray signal above background. Assuming Einasto and Navarro-Frenk-White DM density profiles at the GC, we derive upper limits on the annihilation cross section ⟨σ v ⟩. These constraints are the strongest obtained so far in the TeV DM mass range and improve upon previous limits by a factor 5. For the Einasto profile, the constraints reach ⟨σ v ⟩ values of 6 ×10-26 cm3 s-1 in the W+W- channel for a DM particle mass of 1.5 TeV, and 2 ×10-26 cm3 s-1 in the τ+τ- channel for a 1 TeV mass. For the first time, ground-based γ -ray observations have reached sufficient sensitivity to probe ⟨σ v ⟩ values expected from the thermal relic density for TeV DM particles.
Physical Review Letters
- Pub Date:
- September 2016
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- Accepted by PRL. Includes Supplemental Material. 7+4 pages, 2+4 figures, 1 table