New limits on the dark matter lifetime from dwarf spheroidal galaxies using Fermi-LAT
Baring, Matthew G.
Queiroz, Farinaldo S.
Dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs) are promising targets for the indirect detection of dark matter through gamma-ray emission due to their proximity, lack of astrophysical backgrounds and high dark matter density. They are often used to place restrictive bounds on the dark matter annihilation cross section. In this paper, we analyze six years of Fermi-LAT gamma-ray data from 19 dSphs that are satellites of the Milky Way, and derive from a stacked analysis of 15 dSphs, robust 95% confidence level lower limits on the dark matter lifetime for several decay channels and dark matter masses between ∼1 GeV and 10 TeV. Our findings are based on a bin-by-bin maximum likelihood analysis treating the J-factor as a nuisance parameter using the Pass 8 event class. Our constraints from this ensemble are among the most stringent and solid in the literature, and competitive with existing ones coming from the extragalactic gamma-ray background, galaxy clusters, AMS-02 cosmic ray data, Super-K and ICECUBE neutrino data, while rather insensitive to systematic uncertainties. In particular, among gamma-ray searches, we improve existing limits for dark matter decaying into ¯bb (μ+μ−) for dark matter masses below ∼30(200) GeV, demonstrating that dSphs are compelling targets for constraining dark matter decay lifetimes.