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Title: Dark Matter in the Milky Way's Dwarf Spheroidal Satellites
Authors: Matthew G. Walker (Harvard/CfA)

The Milky Way's dwarf spheroidal satellites include the nearest, smallest and least luminous galaxies known. They also exhibit the largest discrepancies between dynamical and luminous masses. This article reviews the development of empirical constraints on the structure and kinematics of dSph stellar populations and discusses how this phenomenology translates into constraints on the amount and distribution of dark matter within dSphs. Some implications for cosmology and the particle nature of dark matter are discussed, and some topics/questions for future study are identified.

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Title: VERITAS Search for VHE Gamma-ray Emission from Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies
Authors: The VERITAS Collaboration: V. A. Acciari, T. Arlen, T. Aune, M. Beilicke, W. Benbow, D. Boltuch, S. M. Bradbury, J. H. Buckley, V. Bugaev, K. Byrum, A. Cannon, A. Cesarini, J. L. Christiansen, L. Ciupik, W. Cui, R. Dickherber, C. Duke, J. P. Finley, G. Finnegan, A. Furniss, N. Galante, S. Godambe, J. Grube, R. Guenette, G. Gyuk, D. Hanna, J. Holder, C. M. Hui, T. B. Humensky, A. Imran, P. Kaaret, N. Karlsson, M. Kertzman, D. Kieda, A. Konopelko, H. Krawczynski, F. Krennrich, G. Maier, S. McArthur, A. McCann, M. McCutcheon, P. Moriarty, R. A. Ong, A. N. Otte, D. Pandel, J. S. Perkins, M. Pohl, J. Quinn, K. Ragan, L. C. Reyes, P. T. Reynolds, E. Roache, H. J. Rose, M. Schroedter, G. H. Sembroski, G. Demet Senturk, A. W. Smith, D. Steele, S. P. Swordy, G. Teic, M. Theiling, S. Thibadeau,
A. Varlotta, V. V. Vassiliev, S. Vincent, R. G. Wagner, S. P. Wakely, J. E. Ward, T. C. Weekes, A. Weinstein, T. Weisgarber, D. A. Williams, S. Wissel, B. Zitzer
et al. (12 additional authors not shown)

Indirect dark matter searches with ground-based gamma-ray observatories provide an alternative for identifying the particle nature of dark matter that is complementary to that of direct search or accelerator production experiments. We present the results of observations of the dwarf spheroidal galaxies Draco, Ursa Minor, Bootes 1, and Willman 1 conducted by VERITAS. These galaxies are nearby dark matter dominated objects located at a typical distance of several tens of kiloparsecs for which there are good measurements of the dark matter density profile from stellar velocity measurements. Since the conventional astrophysical background of very high energy gamma rays from these objects appears to be negligible, they are good targets to search for the secondary gamma-ray photons produced by interacting or decaying dark matter particles. No significant gamma-ray flux above 200 GeV was detected from these four dwarf galaxies for a typical exposure of ~20 hours. The 95% confidence upper limits on the integral gamma-ray flux are in the range 0.4-2.2x10^-12 photons cm^-2s^-1. We interpret this limiting flux in the context of pair annihilation of weakly interacting massive particles and derive constraints on the thermally averaged product of the total self-annihilation cross section and the relative velocity of the WIMPs. The limits are obtained under conservative assumptions regarding the dark matter distribution in dwarf galaxies and are approximately three orders of magnitude above the generic theoretical prediction for WIMPs in the minimal supersymmetric standard model framework. However significant uncertainty exists in the dark matter distribution as well as the neutralino cross sections which under favorable assumptions could further lower the limits.

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Study offers ideas on why tiny galaxies lost stars
Close encounters of the galactic kind may explain the existence of an unusual type of dwarf galaxy, a new study suggests.
So-called dwarf spheroidal galaxies are small and very faint, containing few stars relative to their total mass.
These star-deprived galaxies appear to be made mostly of dark matter - an elusive form of matter detectable only by its gravitational influence.


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Cosmic Dance Helps Galaxies Lose Weight
A study published this week in the journal Nature offers an explanation for the origin of dwarf spheroidal galaxies. The research may settle an outstanding puzzle in understanding galaxy formation.
Dwarf spheroidal galaxies are small and very faint, containing few stars relative to their total mass. They appear to be made mostly of dark matter - a mysterious substance detectable only by its gravitational influence, which outweighs normal matter by a factor of five to one in the universe as a whole.
Astronomers have found it difficult to explain the origin of dwarf spheroidal galaxies. Previous theories require that dwarf spheroidals orbit near large galaxies like the Milky Way, but this does not explain how dwarfs that have been observed in the outskirts of the "Local Group" of galaxies could have formed.

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