Exoplanets as Dark Laboratories: New Searches for sub-GeV Dark Matter

Jun 9, 2023, 11:00 am1:00 pm
PCTS Room 407
Faculty, post docs, grads



Event Description

I will discuss exoplanets as new targets to discover Dark Matter (DM). Throughout the Milky Way, DM can scatter, become captured, deposit annihilation energy, and increase the heat flow within exoplanets. I will show estimates for infrared telescope sensitivity to this scenario, finding actionable discovery or exclusion searches. Supporting evidence of a DM origin can be identified through DM-induced exoplanet heating correlated with Galactic position, and hence DM density. This provides new motivation to measure the temperature of the billions of brown dwarfs, rogue planets, and gas giants peppered throughout our Galaxy. I will make a specific focus on the calculation of the capture, distribution, and evaporation of sub-GeV DM in the relevant celestial objects, and discuss it in scenarios of short, and long-range interactions.