Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 450, 2143-2152 (2015/June-3)
Discovery of a 3.5 keV line in the Galactic Centre and a critical look at the origin of the line across astronomical targets.
JELTEMA T. and PROFUMO S.
Abstract (from CDS):
We examine the claimed excess X-ray line emission near 3.5 keV including both a new analysis of XMM-Newton observations of the Milky Way centre and a reanalysis of the data on M 31 and clusters. In no case do we find conclusive evidence for an excess. In the case of the Galactic Centre, we show that known plasma lines, including in particular Kxviii lines at 3.48 and 3.52 keV, provide a satisfactory fit to the XMM data. We estimate the expected flux of the Kxviii lines and find that the measured line flux falls squarely within the predicted range based on the brightness of other well-measured lines in the energy range of interest and on detailed multitemperature plasma models. We then re-assess the evidence for excess emission from clusters of galaxies, allowing for systematic uncertainty in the expected flux from known plasma lines and additional uncertainty due to potential variation in the abundances of different elements. We find that no conclusive excess line emission can be advocated when considering systematic uncertainties in Perseus or in other clusters. We also reanalyse the XMM data for M 31 and find no statistically significant line emission near 3.5 keV to a level greater than 1σ. Finally, we analyse the Tycho supernova remnant, which shows similar plasma features to the sources above, but does not host any significant dark matter. We detect a 3.55 keV line from Tycho, which points to possible systematic effects in the flux determination of weak lines, or to relative elemental abundances vastly different from theoretical expectations.