The Likely Cause of the EGRET GeV Anomaly and its Implications

Stecker, F. W.
Hunter, S. D.
Kniffen, D. A.
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Analysis of data from the EGRET gamma-ray detector on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory indicated an anomaly in the form of an excess diffuse galactic flux at GeV energies over that which was theoretically predicted. Various explanations for this anomaly have been put forth, including the invocation of supersymmetric dark matter annihilation. We reexamine these explanations here, including a new discussion of the possible systematic errors in the sensitivity determination of the EGRET detector. We conclude that the most likely explanation of the EGRET ``GeV anomaly'' was an error in the estimation of the of the EGRET sensitivity at energies above ~1 GeV. We give reasons why such a situation could have occurred. We find evidence from our new all-sky analysis which is inconsistent with the assumption that the anomaly can be a signal of supersymmetric dark matter annihilation. We also reconfirm the original results of the EGRET team on the extragalactic gamma-ray background spectrum. There are important implications of our analysis for the upcoming Gamma Ray Large Area Telescope (GLAST) mission.
Comment: 12 pages, 3 figs., Astroparticle Physics, in press