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Volume 358 - 36th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2019) - GRD - Gamma Ray Direct
Fermi-LAT Observations of Gamma-Ray Emission Towards the Outer Halo of M31
C. Karwin,* S. Murgia, S. Campbell, I. Moskalenko
*corresponding author
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Pre-published on: 2019 July 22
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The Andromeda galaxy is the closest spiral galaxy to us and has been the subject of numerous studies. It harbors a massive dark matter halo which may span up to ~600 kpc across and comprises ~90% of the galaxy's total mass. This halo size translates into a large diameter of 42 degrees on the sky for an M31-Milky Way (MW) distance of 785 kpc, but its presumably low surface brightness makes it challenging to detect with gamma-ray telescopes. Using 7.6 years of Fermi Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT) observations, we make a detailed study of the gamma-ray emission between 1-100 GeV towards M31's outer halo, with a total field radius of 60 degrees centered at M31, and perform an in-depth analysis of the systematic uncertainties related to the observations. We use the cosmic ray propagation code GALPROP to construct specialized interstellar emission models to characterize the foreground gamma-ray emission from the MW, including a self-consistent determination of the isotropic component. We find evidence for an extended excess that appears to be distinct from the conventional MW foreground, having a total radial extension upwards of ~120-200 kpc from the center of M31. We discuss plausible interpretations of the excess emission but emphasize that uncertainties in the MW foreground, and in particular, modeling of the H I-related components, have not been fully explored and may impact the results.
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