We present a new method to measure or constrain p-wave-suppressed cross sections for dark matter (DM) annihilations inside the steep density spikes induced by supermassive black holes. We demonstrate that the high DM densities, together with the increased velocity dispersion, within such spikes combine to make thermal p-wave annihilation cross sections potentially visible in γ-ray observations of the Galactic center (GC). The resulting DM signal is a bright central point source with emission originating from DM annihilations in the absence of a detectable spatially extended signal from the halo. We define two simple reference theories of DM with a thermal p-wave annihilation cross section and establish new limits on the combined particle and astrophysical parameter space of these models, demonstrating that Fermi Large Area Telescope is currently sensitive to thermal p-wave DM over a wide range of possible scenarios for the DM distribution in the GC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy