Heating galaxy clusters with interacting dark matter

Yutaro Shoji*, Eric Kuflik*, Yuval Birnboim*, Nicholas C. Stone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The overcooling of cool core clusters is a persistent puzzle in the astrophysics of galaxy clusters. We propose that it may naturally be resolved via interactions between the baryons of the intracluster medium (ICM) and its dark matter (DM). DM-baryon interactions can inject heat into the ICM to offset bremsstrahlung cooling, but these interactions are also strongly constrained by existing experiments and astrophysical observations. We survey existing constraints and combine these with the energetic needs of an observed sample of cool core clusters. We find that a robust parameter space exists for baryon-DM scattering solutions to the cooling flow problem, provided that only a sub-component of DM interacts strongly with the baryons. Interestingly, baryon-DM scattering is a thermally stable heating source so long as the baryon temperature is greater than 1/3 to 1/2 the DM temperature, a condition that seems to be satisfied observationally.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4082-4091
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society.


  • dark matter
  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium


Dive into the research topics of 'Heating galaxy clusters with interacting dark matter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this