'Direct Detection' of Dark Asteroids

Anirban Das
Fri October 22nd 2021, 3:30pm
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Varian 355

Macroscopic dark matter is mostly unconstrained over a wide asteroid-mass range, where it could scatter on visible matter with geometric cross section. In this talk, I shall describe when such a 'dark asteroid' travels through a star, it produces shock waves which reach the stellar surface, and gives out distinctive transient optical, UV and X-ray emission. This signature can be searched for on a variety of stellar types and locations. In a dense globular cluster, such events occur far more often than stellar flares. An existing UV telescope, such as the Hubble Telescope, could probe orders of magnitude in dark asteroid mass in one week of dedicated observation.