Thursday, June 30, 2005

Repeated WENV in PLT

Allyn Tennant supplied a fix to a problem noted by Tahir Yaqoob that repeated use of WENV in PLT ended up producing a message about exceeding the available unit numbers.

Note that headas has too copies of qdp & plt, one under ftools and the other under Xspec/plot. I don't think this duplication is necessary. The ftools copy is two years and the Xspec copy is four years out-of-date.

Allyn now has a QDP/PLT webpage with the latest version available by ftp.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


The Jan 05 fix to the kerrbb new model didn't make it into the recent release. Fixed this as
11.3.2j and will also appear shortly as a v12 patch.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


Wyithe & Loeb argue that SMBH growth rate is determined by the spheroid velocity dispersion, not the mass.

Cornish & Crowder test MCMC methods for LISA data analysis.

Bertolami & Vieira test various models of the Kuiper belt to see whether they can explain the Pioneer Anomaly. None work however they note that any mission to test the anomaly will also be a useful probe of the mass distribution in the belt.

McKernan et al. place limits on ionic column densities of Galactic halo hot gas using Chandra grating spectral observations of 15 type I AGN.

Tagliaferri et al. summarize the prompt X-ray emission lightcurve from Swift bursts.

Dupke & Bregman survey constraints on bulk motions in clusters based on ASCA spectra.

Read et al. describe progress towards the XMM slew-survey which will cover the sky at 2-10 keV ten times deeper than all other surveys in this energy range.

Vaughan & Uttley consider what is required to detect QPOs from AGN and conclude that the most efficient technique requires and all-sky version of the RXTE ASM.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

wtmapfix in extractor

Lorella pointed out a problem with the Swift/XRT data in xselect. The WMAPs do not have -1 in pixels outside the selected region despite having wtmapfix set to yes. The problem arises because the XRT uses the same coordinate system for image and WMAP and extractor automatically resets wtmapfix to no in this case. I fixed this so that in this case the WMAP fix to convert the region from image to wmap coordinates is not done however pixels outside the region are still set to -1.

Keywords: heasoft, extractor, Swift

Monday, June 13, 2005

Speed-up of NEI APEC models

After I added the thermal and velocity-broadening the NEI APEC models slowed down even when there was no broadening in use. I fixed this to some extent by trapping lines that fall completely outside the response energy range at an earlier point in the code.

Keywords: heasoft, xspec


Perryman et al. review the prospects for detection of extrasolar planets.

Jane Turner et al. analyze XMM data of Mrk766 looking in the energy-time plane for evidence of orbital motion around the SMBH.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

gaussline function

Added a trap for zero width to the start of the gaussline function in xsgaul.f. This should be speed up the code and also fixes an occasional seg fault. Checked into the cvs depository for both v11 and v12 but not made public. I'm waiting for Frank Haberl to get back to me on a problem he has had with the gaussian model that I can't replicate locally.

Keywords: heasoft, xspec

NEI models

Terry Gaetz spotted that the NEI models don't respond to the abund command and always use Anders & Grevesse relative abundances. Fixed as 11.3.2h. Will also go out as a v12 patch.

Keywords: heasoft, xspec

nsa model

George Pavlov passed along some changes to the documentation for this nsa model. The references were only for non-magnetic models. Modified xspec.hlp but didn't put out as a patch.

Keywords: heasoft, xspec

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Udalski et al. (the OGLE team) find a second case of a Jupiter mass planet using gravitational microlensing.

Thomas et al. consider the effects of GRBs on the Earth and in particular whether a nearby GRB could be an initiator of a mass extinction event.

Ensslin & Vogt develop an analytic model for magnetic turbulence in cool cores of clusters.

Brighenti & Matthews suggest that a fraction of the Fe from SNI in early-type galaxies could rapidly radiatively cool and hence not be measured using X-ray observations.

Glazebrook & Blake calculate the sensitivities of very large redshift surveys to measure the baryon oscillations and hence determine the evolution of dark energy.

Pilla et al. describe a score test for distinguishing a new source from a random fluctuation.

Young et al. analyze a 522 ksec Chandra HETG observation of MCG-6-30-15 and conclude that the spectrum is consistent with a broad relativistic line round a fast rotating SMBH.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

tclout simpars seg fault

Piero Ranalli reported getting seg faults under Linux when running tclout simpars. Turned out to be an error assigning a string size. Fixed as 11.3.2g.

Keywords: heasoft, xspec

xselect HXD

According to Terada-san the HXD instrument name should be changed from HXD to HXD-WELL. Also the WMAP will be created as UNITID vs. PIN_ID. Check in appropriate changes to xselect.mdb.

Keywords: xselect, Astro-E2

Friday, June 03, 2005

xselect and Astro-E

When I checked in the change to xselect.mdb for TELESCOP=Astro-E2 I accidentally overrwrote the changes for the default WMAP. Corrected this so that fbin=hbin=1 and imagecoord=wmapcoord=SKY.

Keywords: xselect, Astro-E2

v11 projct model

Glenn Morris hit a seg fault when using projct with > 25 shells. This occurred in the set-up for a diagnostic message writing out the projection matrix. Just truncated this to only write 25 columns. v11.3.2f.

Keywords: heasoft. xspec

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Mannheim reviews the underpinnings of standard gravity theory and considers what is required to explain dark matter and energy as errors in the current theory.

Jacobsen et al. review the prospects for detecting possible Lorentz violations predicted by quantum gravity theories.

Takizawa presents 3-D hydro simulations of a moving substructure in the ICM.

Clarkson & Maartens argue that if string theory is correct and the Universe is an embedded 3-brane then this will introduce oscillations in the GW signal from BHs.

Treister & Urry show that the optical/IR/X-ray content of deep surveys and the spectral shape of the XRB can be explained by a model with a constant ratio of obscured to unobscured AGN.

Kocsis et al. calculate LISA error ellipses for BH mergers and argue that if they are accompanied by Eddington-limit quasar activity they can be uniquely identified to z~1.

Buote et al. present Chandra observations of A644, a radio-quiet cool-core cluster. They find that the inward decline in temperature and entropy reverses inside the core. The peak is offset from the centroid with the cD midway between suggesting a merger.

Finoguenov et al. put together XMM samples of groups and galaxies to confirm an entropy ramp as the explanation for the scaling relations and find a mild evolution in entropy of clusters.