Dark matter debris flows in the Milky Way

Mariangela Lisanti, David N. Spergel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


We show that subhalos falling into the Milky Way create a flow of tidally-stripped debris particles near the Galactic center with characteristic speed behavior, but no spatial features. Using the Via Lactea-II N-body simulation, we study the unvirialized component arising from particles that were bound in subhalos around the time of reionization but have since been tidally stripped. These debris particles constitute a few percent of the local density today and have speeds peaked at 340 km/s in the solar neighborhood. This spatially-homogeneous velocity substructure has important implications for surveys of low-metallicity stars, as well as direct detection experiments sensitive to dark matter with large scattering thresholds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics of the Dark Universe
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Dark matter direct detection
  • Dark matter substructure


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