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Calorimetric Dark Matter Detection With Galactic Center Gas Clouds

In this paper, we demonstrate that the dark matter heating of gas clouds, hundreds of parsecs from the Milky Way Galactic center, provides a powerful new test of dark matter interactions. To illustrate, we set a leading bound on nucleon scattering for 10-100 MeV mass dark matter. We also constrain millicharged dark matter models, including those proposed to match the recent EDGES 21 cm absorption anomaly. For Galactic center gas clouds, galactic fields’ magnetic deflection of electromagnetically charged dark matter is mitigated, because the magnetic fields around the Galactic center are poloidal, as opposed to being aligned parallel to the Milky Way disk. We discuss prospects for detecting dark matter using a population of Galactic center gas clouds warmed by dark matter. (Read More)