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01 October 2023
  » arxiv » astro-ph/0201152

 Article overview

Observable consequences of cold clouds as dark matter
E. Kerins ; J. Binney ; J. Silk ;
Date 10 Dec 2001
Journal Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 332 (2002) L29
Subject astro-ph
Affiliation1,2), J. Binney , J. Silk ( ARI, Liverpool John Moores; Theoretical Physics, Oxford; NAPL, Oxford
AbstractCold, dense clouds of gas have been proposed as baryonic candidates for the dark matter in Galactic haloes, and have also been invoked in the Galactic disc as an explanation for the excess faint sub-mm sources detected by SCUBA. Even if their dust-to-gas ratio is only a small percentage of that in conventional gas clouds, these dense systems would be opaque to visible radiation. This presents the possibility of detecting them by looking for occultations of background stars. We examine the possibility that the data sets of microlensing experiments searching for massive compact halo objects can also be used to search for occultation signatures by cold clouds. We compute the rate and timescale distribution of stellar transits by clouds in the Galactic disc and halo. We find that, for cloud parameters typically advocated by theoretical models, thousands of transit events should already exist within microlensing survey data sets. We examine the seasonal modulation in the rate caused by the Earth’s orbital motion and find it provides an excellent probe of whether detected clouds are of disc or halo origin.
Source arXiv, astro-ph/0201152
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