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R. Chary (University of California, Santa Cruz), E.L. Wright (University of California, Los Angeles)
We present an independent estimate of the high latitude (|b|>20 deg) contribution to the E>30 MeV gamma-ray background from Galactic nucleon-nucleon, electron bremsstrahlung and inverse Compton processes. In particular, the inverse Compton contribution has been estimated for different cosmic ray electron distributions and after factoring in the anisotropy in the interstellar radiation field and the anisotropic Klein-Nishina scattering cross section. We find that the emission from the inverse Compton process when the anisotropy in the radiation field is included can be higher by up to 50% when compared to estimates that adopt an isotropic radiation field. Simulated inverse Compton maps with a cosmic ray electron distribution represented by a ``pill box'' extending up to a distance of 5 kpc above the Galactic plane provide better fits to the EGRET intensity maps suggesting that the cosmic ray halo may be larger than previously thought. Fitting for the Galactic components of gamma-ray emission confirms the existence of an isotropic component with an intensity that can be represented by the form 27.7*(E/MeV)-2.16 ph m-2 s-1 sr-1 MeV-1, in excellent agreement with previous estimates. The spectrum of the isotropic component further argues strongly in favor of unresolved gamma-ray blazars being the source of this emission.
Introduction of an anisotropic component improves the quality of the fits. However, this component, which could potentially arise from the dark matter in the Galactic halo, is not well characterized by a single power law which might be associated with any single dark matter candidate. It has an intensity of about a third of the isotropic background above E > 100 MeV at the level of 3*10-2 ph m-2 s-1 sr-1. The best fit power law spectrum to this component has a photon index of -1.7. Based on the intensity and spectrum of the anisotropic component we derive upper limits of 109Msun for the mass of cold, baryonic gas within the solar circle and a primordial black hole number density limit of 7*107 pc-3 which is more than an order of magnitude smaller than previous limits. If the spectrum of the anisotropic component is indeed confirmed to have an index of -1.7, it appears more likely that the signal arises in unresolved Galactic sources such as pulsars.