"The High-energy X-ray View of the Galactic Center" (speaker: Kerstin Perez, MIT)

Thursday, May 4, 2:00pm

Please note meeting location:  37-187 (as you face lobby elevators, it is the room to the left)

The inner parsecs of the Galaxy contain one of the highest concentrations of high-energy sources in the Milky Way. The supermassive black hole, pulsar wind nebulae, supernova remnants, X-ray binaries, and hot interstellar gas are copious emitters of X-rays and gamma-rays. In addition, this region contains a large density of dark matter, making it an important source of both dark matter interaction signatures and backgrounds to dark matter searches. NuSTAR provides a view of the hard X-ray (3-79 keV) band, a critical bridge between the soft X-ray and gamma-ray emission, with unprecedented angular resolution. This view provides new insight into the distribution of stellar remnant and cosmic ray populations near Sgr A*. I will also detail a novel use of the NuSTAR instrument’s view of the Galactic Center, which allows it to deliver leading constraints on the radiative decay of dark matter, in particular from sterile neutrinos.