An excess radio signal in the Abell 4038 cluster

Man Ho CHAN, Chak Man LEE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In the past decade, various instruments, such as the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and the Dark Matter Particle Explorer(DAMPE), have been used to detect the signals of annihilating dark matter in our Galaxy. Although some excesses of gamma rays, antiprotons and electrons/positrons have been reported and are claimed to be dark matter signals, the uncertainties of the contributions of Galactic pulsars are still too large to confirm the claims. In this paper, we report on a possible radio signal of annihilating dark matter manifested in the archival radio continuum spectral data of the Abell 4038 cluster. By assuming a thermal annihilation cross-section and comparing the dark matter annihilation model with the null hypothesis (cosmic ray emission without dark matter annihilation), we obtain very large test statistic (TS) values, TS > 45, for four popular annihilation channels, which correspond to more than 6σ statistical preference. This reveals a possible potential signal of annihilating dark matter. In particular, our results are also consistent with the recent claims of dark matter mass, m ≈ 30–50 GeV, annihilating via the bb¯ quark channel with the thermal annihilation cross-section. However, at this time, we cannot exclude the possibility that a better background cosmic ray model could explain the spectral data without recourse to dark matter annihilations. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5583-5588
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date25 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


Chan, M. H., & Lee, C. M. (2021). An excess radio signal in the Abell 4038 cluster. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 500(4), 5583-5588. doi: 10.1093/mnras/staa2895


  • Dark matter


Dive into the research topics of 'An excess radio signal in the Abell 4038 cluster'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.