The large dark cores of common dwarf galaxies are unexplained by the standard heavy particle interpretation of dark matter. This puzzle is exacerbated by the discovery of a very large but barely visible, dark matter dominated galaxy Antlia II orbiting the Milky Way, uncovered by tracking star motions with the Ĝaia satellite. Although Antlia II has a low mass, its visible radius is more than double any known dwarf galaxy, with an unprecedentedly low density core. We show that Antlia II favors dark matter as a Bose-Einstein condensate, for which the ground state is a stable soliton with a core radius given by the de Broglie wavelength. The lower the galaxy mass, the larger the de Broglie wavelength, so the least massive galaxies should have the widest soliton cores of lowest density. An ultralight boson of mψ∼1.1 ×10-22 eV accounts well for the large size and slowly moving stars within Antlia II and agrees with boson mass estimates derived from the denser cores of more massive dwarf galaxies. For this very light boson, Antlia II is close to the lower limiting Jeans scale for galaxy formation permitted by the uncertainty principle, so other examples are expected but none significantly larger in size. This simple explanation for the puzzling dark cores of dwarf galaxies implies dark matter as an ultralight boson, such as an axion generic in string theory.
Physical Review D
- Pub Date:
- April 2020
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 9 pages, 5 figure. Accepted for publication on Physical Review D