Diffuse X-rays from a distributed component of dark matter surrounding sagittarius A

Martin Pessah, Fulvio Melia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


There is now compelling evidence for the presence of a few million solar masses of dark matter within 0.015 pc of the nonthermal radio source Sgr A&z.ast;. Recent Chandra observations suggest that the X-ray emission from this source is partially diffuse. This result provides an important clue that can be used to set some constraints on the mass distribution surrounding the black hole, and we here develop a simple model in which the diffuse emission is produced by a halo of neutron stars accreting from the gas falling toward the center. We discuss the various accretion mechanisms that are likely to contribute significantly to the X-ray flux and show that a highly magnetized fraction of old neutron stars may account for the diffuse high-energy source. If this picture is correct, the upper bound to the mass of the central black hole is ≈2.2 × 106 M. The core radius of the dark cluster must then be ≈0.06 pc. We also discuss the sensitivity of our results to the various assumptions made in our calculations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L29-L32
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 II
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • Black hole physics
  • Galaxy: center
  • Gravitation
  • Radiation mechanisms: nonthermal
  • Relativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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