Can the flyby anomaly be attributed to earth-bound dark matter?

Auditorium B. Touschek (Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Via Enrico Fermi 40, Frascati)

Auditorium B. Touschek

Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Via Enrico Fermi 40, Frascati

Via Enrico Fermi 40 00044 Frascati

We make preliminary estimates to assess whether the recently reported flyby anomaly can be attributed to dark matter interactions. We consider both elastic and exothermic inelastic scattering from dark matter constituents; for isotropic dark matter velocity distributions, the former decrease, while the latter increase, the final flyby velocity. Since the observed flyby velocity anomaly shows examples with both positive and negative signs, a two-component model is indicated, involving both elastic and inelastic scatterers with differing spatial distributions. The magnitude of the observed anomalies requires dark matter densities many orders of magnitude greater than the galactic halo density. Such a large density could result from an accumulation cascade, in which the solar system-bound dark matter density is much higher than the galactic halo density, and the earth-bound density is much higher than the solar system-bound density. Constraints on this picture are discussed.

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