Strong evidence that the galactic bulge is shining in gamma rays
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1088/1475-7516/2019/09/042
There is growing evidence that the Galactic Center Excess identified in the Fermi-LAT gamma-ray data arises from a population of faint astrophysical sources. We provide compelling supporting evidence by showing that the morphology of the excess traces the stellar over-density of the Galactic bulge. By adopting a template of the bulge stars obtained from a triaxial 3D fit to the diffuse near-infrared emission, we show that it is detected at high significance. The significance deteriorates when either the position or the orientation of the template is artificially shifted, supporting the correlation of the gamma-ray data with the Galactic bulge. In deriving these results, we have used more sophisticated templates at low-latitudes for the Fermi bubbles compared to previous work and the three-dimensional Inverse Compton (IC) maps recently released by the GALPROP team. Our results provide strong constraints on Millisecond Pulsar (MSP) formation scenarios proposed to explain the excess. We find that an admixture formation scenario, in which some of the relevant binaries are primordial and the rest are formed dynamically, is preferred over a primordial-only formation scenario at 7.6σ confidence level. Our detailed morphological analysis also disfavors models of the disrupted globular clusters scenario that predict a spherically symmetric distribution of MSPs in the Galactic bulge. For the first time, we report evidence of a high energy tail in the nuclear bulge spectrum that could be the result of IC emission from electrons and positrons injected by a population of MSPs and star formation activity from the same site.