Dark matter local density determination: recent observations and future prospects

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This report summarises progress made in estimating the local density of dark matter (rho(DM,circle dot)), a quantity that is especially important for dark matter direct detection experiments. We outline and compare the most common methods to estimate rho(DM,circle dot) and the results from recent studies, including those that have benefited from the observations of the ESA/Gaia satellite. The result of most local analyses coincide within a range of rho(DM,circle dot) similar or equal to 0.4-0.6GeVcm(-3) = 0.011-0.016M(circle dot)/pc(3), while a slightly lower range of rho(DM,circle dot) similar or equal to 0.3-0.5GeVcm(-3) = 0.008-0.013M(circle dot)/pc(3) is preferred by most global studies. In light of recent discoveries, we discuss the importance of going beyond the approximations of what we define as the ideal Galaxy (a steady-state Galaxy with axisymmetric shape and a mirror symmetry across the mid-plane) in order to improve the precision of rho(DM,circle dot) measurements. In particular, we review the growing evidence for local disequilibrium and broken symmetries in the present configuration of the Milky Way, as well as uncertainties associated with the galactic distribution of baryons. Finally, we comment on new ideas that have been proposed to further constrain the value of rho(DM,circle dot), most of which would benefit from Gaia's final data release.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104901
JournalReports on Progress in Physics
Issue number10
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2021

    Research areas

  • dark matter, local dark matter density, galactic astrophysics, milky way, SURFACE MASS DENSITY, MILKY-WAY, GALACTIC DISK, ROTATION CURVE, SOLAR NEIGHBORHOOD, GAIA DR2, STELLAR, GALAXY, HALO, KINEMATICS


ID: 281983765