Dark matter profiles and annihilation in dwarf spheroidal galaxies: Prospectives for present and futureγ-ray observatories - I. The classical dwarf spheroidal galaxies

Due to their large dynamical mass-to-light ratios, dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs) are promising targets for the indirect detection of dark matter (DM) in γ-rays. We examine their detectability by present and future γ-ray observatories. The key innovative features of our analysis are as follows: (i) we take into account the angular size of the dSphs; while nearby objects have higher γ-ray flux, their larger angular extent can make them less attractive targets for background-dominated instruments; (ii) we derive DM profiles and the astrophysical J-factor (which parametrizes the expected γ-ray flux, independently of the choice of DM particle model) for the classical dSphs directly from photometric and kinematic data. We assume very little about the DM profile, modelling this as a smooth split-power-law distribution, with and without subclumps; (iii) we use a Markov chain Monte Carlo technique to marginalize over unknown parameters and determine the sensitivity of our derived J-factors to both model and measurement uncertainties; and (iv) we use simulated DM profiles to demonstrate that our J-factor determinations recover the correct solution within our quoted uncertainties.

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