AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 82 Dark Matter, Weak and Strong Lensing
Oral, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Golden Ballroom

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[82.01] WMAP Microwave Emission Interpreted as Dark Matter Annihilation in the Inner Galaxy

D. P. Finkbeiner (Princeton University)

Synchrotron emission from a population of ultra-relativistic electrons in the inner Galaxy has been observed by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). After careful modeling of the microwave foreground signals from Galactic interstellar medium (free-free, "ordinary" synchrotron, thermal dust, and spinning dust) a residual microwave signal is present within 10-20 degrees of the Galactic center, uncorrelated with any known foreground template. The most likely explanation for this mysterious component is synchrotron emission from an unusually hot electron energy distribution. The source of these electrons is still uncertain, but the spatial distribution, inferred energy spectrum, and total number are consistent with their being positron-electron pairs produced by WIMP annihilation. I will review the evidence for this hot electron component, and show that it could be produced by dark matter particles, assuming masses and cross sections previously considered in the literature. I will also briefly discuss complementary observations that could confirm its interpretation as an indirect detection of WIMP annihilation.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.