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Betelgeuse constraints on coupling between axionlike particles and electrons

Xiao, Mengjiao and Carenza, Pierluca and Giannotti, Maurizio and Mirizzi, Alessandro and Perez, Kerstin M. and Straniero, Oscar and Grefenstette, Brian W. (2022) Betelgeuse constraints on coupling between axionlike particles and electrons. Physical Review D, 106 (12). Art. No. 123019. ISSN 2470-0010. doi:10.1103/physrevd.106.123019.

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Axionlike particles (ALPs) can be produced by thermal processes in a stellar interior, escape from the star and, if sufficiently light, be converted into photons in the external Galactic magnetic field. Such a process could produce a detectable hard x-ray excess in the direction of the star. In this scenario, a promising class of targets is the red supergiants, massive stars which are experiencing the late part of their evolution. We report on a search for ALP-induced x-ray emission from Betelgeuse, produced via the combined processes of bremsstrahlung, Compton and Primakoff. Using a 50 ks observation of Betelgeuse by the NuSTAR satellite telescope, we set 95% C.L. upper limits on the ALP-electron (g_ae) and ALP-photon (g_aγ) couplings. For masses m_a ≤ (3.5–5.5) × 10⁻¹¹ eV, we find g_aγ × g_ae < (0.4–2.8) × 10⁻²⁴ GeV⁻¹ (depending on the stellar model and assuming a value of the regular Galactic magnetic field in the direction transverse to Betelgeuse of B_T = 1.4 μG). This corresponds to g_ae < (0.4–2.8) × 10⁻¹² for g_aγ > 1.0 × 10⁻¹² GeV⁻¹. This analysis supercedes by over an order of magnitude the limit on g_ae × g_aγ placed by the CAST solar axion experiment and is among the strongest constraints on these couplings.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Xiao, Mengjiao0000-0002-6397-617X
Giannotti, Maurizio0000-0001-9823-6262
Mirizzi, Alessandro0000-0002-5382-3786
Perez, Kerstin M.0000-0002-6404-4737
Straniero, Oscar0000-0002-5514-6125
Grefenstette, Brian W.0000-0002-1984-2932
Additional Information:We thank D. R. Wik and S. Rossland for helpful discussions on the NuSTAR instrument background; J. L. Han and S. Zhang for discussions concerning the Galactic magnetic field in the direction of Betelgeuse. The NuSTAR observations described in this work were awarded under NASA Grant No. 80NSSC20K0031. The computational aspects of this work made extensive use of the following packages: saoimage ds9 distributed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; the scipy ecosystem, particularly matplotlib and numpy; and astropy, a community-developed core python package for Astronomy. This research has made use of data and software provided by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), which is a service of the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA/GSFC and the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. We thank the NuSTAR Operations, Software and Calibration teams for support with the execution and analysis of these observations. This research made use of the NuSTAR Data Analysis Software (NuSTARDAS), jointly developed by the ASI Science Data Center (ASDC, Italy) and the California Institute of Technology (USA). M. X. and M. G. were supported by NASA Grant No. 80NSSC20K0031. O. S. has been supported by the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) and the Instituto Nazionale di Astrofsica (INAF) under the Agreement No. 2017-14-H.0—attività di studio per la comunità scientifica di Astrofisica delle Alte Energie e Fisica Astroparticellare. A. M. is partially supported by the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) through the “Theoretical Astroparticle Physics” project and by the Research Grant No. 2017W4HA7S “NAT-NET: Neutrino and Astroparticle Theory Network” under the program PRIN 2017 funded by the Italian Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca (MUR). B. G. was supported under NASA Contract No. NNG08FD60C. The work of P. C. is supported by the European Research Council under Grant No. 742104 and by the Swedish Research Council (VR) under Grants No. 2018-03641 and No. 2019-02337.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)2017-14-H.0
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN)2017W4HA7S
Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (MIUR)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)742104
Swedish Research Council2018-03641
Swedish Research Council2019-02337
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20230123-451320900.29
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:118897
Deposited By: Research Services Depository
Deposited On:17 Feb 2023 03:04
Last Modified:17 Feb 2023 03:04

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