An excess of GeV gamma rays from the center of the Milky Way has been detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope. The leading explanations for this excess are annihilating dark matter particles or a new population of millisecond pulsars. Solving this conundrum is of pressing importance; we may either find the first non-gravitational evidence for the existence of dark matter or confirm the discovery of a new population of pulsars in the Milky Way center. The main obstacle, currently impeding a definite solution, is the uncertainty in the astrophysical background components (interstellar gas and radiation fields). In this talk, I will present a new reconstruction of the distribution of atomic hydrogen in the inner Galaxy which corrects several biases introduced by earlier hydrogen maps in the literature. I will then discuss its implications for the characteristics of this GeV excess and the particle astrophysics of the center of our Galaxy.
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Meeting ID: 921 1801 0804