Dark Matter Thermonuclear Supernova Ignition
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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dark Matter Thermonuclear Supernova Ignition

  • Author(s): Steigerwald, Heinrich
  • Profumo, Stefano
  • Rodrigues, Davi
  • Marra, Valerio
  • et al.

We investigate local environmental effects from dark matter (DM) on thermonuclear supernovae (SNe Ia) using publicly available archival data of 224 low-redshift events, in an attempt to shed light on the SN Ia progenitor systems. SNe Ia are explosions of carbon-oxygen (CO) white dwarfs (WDs) that have recently been shown to explode at sub-Chandrasekhar masses; the ignition mechanism remains, however, unknown. Recently, it has been shown that both weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) and macroscopic DM candidates such as primordial black holes (PBHs) are capable of triggering the ignition. Here, we present a method to estimate the DM density and velocity dispersion in the vicinity of SN Ia events and nearby WDs; we argue that (i) WIMP ignition is highly unlikely, and that (ii) DM in the form of PBHs distributed according to a (quasi-) log-normal mass distribution with peak $\log_{10}(m_0/1$g$)=24.9\pm 0.9$ and width $\sigma= 3.3\pm 1.0$ is consistent with SN Ia data, the nearby population of WDs and roughly consistent with other constraints from the literature.

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