The survival and disruption of cold dark matter microhaloes: implications for direct and indirect detection experiments

Goerdt, Tobias ; Gnedin, Oleg Y. ; Moore, Ben ; Diemand, Jürg ; Stadel, Joachim

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2007, vol. 375, no. 1, p. 191-198

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    If the dark matter particle is a neutralino, then the first structures to form are cuspy cold dark matter (CDM) haloes collapsing after redshifts z≈ 100 in the mass range 10−6-10−3 M⊙. We carry out a detailed study of the survival of these microhaloes in the Galaxy as they experience tidal encounters with stars, molecular clouds, and other dark matter substructures. We test the validity of analytic impulsive heating calculations using high-resolution N-body simulations. A major limitation of analytic estimates is that mean energy inputs are compared to mean binding energies, instead of the actual mass lost from the system. This energy criterion leads to an overestimate of the stripped mass and an underestimate of the disruption time-scale, since CDM haloes are strongly bound in their inner parts. We show that a significant fraction of material from CDM microhaloes can be unbound by encounters with Galactic substructure and stars; however, the cuspy central regions remain relatively intact. Furthermore, the microhaloes near the solar radius are those which collapse significantly earlier than average and will suffer very little mass-loss. Thus, we expect a fraction of surviving bound microhaloes, a smooth component with narrow features in phase space, which may be uncovered by direct detection experiments, as well as numerous surviving cuspy cores with proper motions of arcminutes per year, which can be detected indirectly via their annihilation into gamma-rays