Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Gregory performs a Bayesian analysis of extrasolar planet data for HD 208487.

Hallman et al. use synthetic observations of numerical observations of clusters to determine the limits on precision cosmology using cluster mass measurements.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Fixed cleansis so that it looks for the EVENTS extension not just the first extension. This ensures it works on Suzaku SFF files. Also cleaned up a lot of unused variables.

Keywords: heasoft, Suzaku

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

v11 bug when using cstat with background

Jeremy Sanders reported that using cstat with background generated a NaN fit statistic value when running on an x86_64. Turned out to be a function that was not defined as double precision in the calling routine. Fixed as 11.3.2o.

Keywords: xspec

More on xselect for Suzaku HXD

The HXD consists of two parts - the PIN and GSO. We have a separate event file for each part with the difference in keywords being DETNAM='WELL_PIN' for the former and WELL_GSO for the latter. The PIN uses PI_PIN for spectra and the GSO PI_SLOW. To handle this in xselect I set the dmodekey for HXD to DETNAM and then have WELL_PIN and WELL_GSO as the modes. The prelaunch xselect.mdb rebinned output spectra. I removed this since the example RMFs do not require it.

There was an error in xsel_read.f which implicitly assumed that dmodekey was the same for all instruments in a mission. This is fixed but will require users to patch. Using only the release version of xselect the user will have to do a set phaname to PI_PIN or PI_SLOW as appropriate.

Also did some tidying up of the (t)xselect.key file which contained some incorrect parameter names leading to warning messages when using the lparm command.

Keywords : xselect, Suzaku

Friday, September 09, 2005

Suzaku and xselect

More changes to xselect.mdb for Suzaku XIS. Corrected name and location of common HK file, changed autobinning to 8 for image and wmap, changed save spectrum behaviour so no binning is performed but only channels 0 to 4095 are output - this matches AO1 response matrix. Set chip column to SEGMENT to allow sisclean command to work using updated cleansis tool. Note that
this also means that ccol will be set to SEGMENT on running extractor. I don't think this will have any effect but watch out for any problems. Changed Suzaku XIS instrument names from XIS-# to XIS# since the latter is what the INSTRUMENT keyword is set to in the event files.
Changed lststr so make cat finds only the event files in the xis directory.

Created web page on using xselect for Suzaku. Included links to new versions of cleansis.f and xselect.mdb.

Keywords: heasoft, xselect, Suzaku

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Aharonian et al. report on the HESS detection of >100 GeV photons from a candidate microquasar.

Shafee et al. estimate the BH spin for a couple of XRBs using spectral fits to the contiuum.

Kawanaka et al. calculate Fe line profiles from coronae heated by magnetic reconnection.

Page et al. summarize XMM observations of 29 quasars at z > 2. No Fe lines or reflection humps are observed.

Dupuis & Woan present a method of searching for GW signals from known radio pulsars.

Qin et al. argue that the flat cores in dark matter haloes could be explained if there are 3 large extra dimensions of nm size.

Donahue et al. present Chandra observations of two cool core clusters with no evidence for a central AGN. They find no cavities, no central temperature gradients, and a higher entropy than other cores. One explanation is a major heating event ~1 Gyr ago.

Chandra and xselect

Modified xsl_chandra_acis_makeresp to hand mkacisrmf the correct required parameters. This should ensure the response-generation option in xselect works correctly with versions of CIAO 3.2 and later.

UPDATE: Didn't get this quite right. Note that the wmap parameter should just be the spectrum file. I had it still as the weights file output by mkwarf. This caused mkacisrmf to fail silently.

Keywords: heasoft, Chandra

Suzaku XIS and xselect/extractor

Added a line to xselect.mdb to set gcol to GRADE so that the filter grade option can be used on XIS event files. This also requires the TLMIN/MAX for the GRADE column to be set in the input files which is not the case yet.

Fujimoto-san pointed out that extractor doesn't work correctly if the input event file has no GTIs and there are selection GTIs set (eg from select hk). The resulting event file has no events but does have GTIs and hence non-zero exposure time. This is fixed in extractor v4.56.

Keywords : heasoft, Suzaku

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Fujita & Suzuki show that heating of cluster cores by sound waves combined with thermal conduction from the outer regions can reproduce the X-ray observations of cooling flows.

Gebhardt et al. use new Keck and HST data to argue the correctness of their 2002 claim that the globular cluster G1 contains a 1e4 Solar mass BH.

Dhurandhar et al. present a model of the LISA spacecraft constellation.

Prochaska et al. present echelle spectroscopic results from GRB050730 at z=3.969 and obtain extensive diagnostics on the ISM of the host galaxy including its metallicity at 0.01 Solar.

Gair et al. give new more accurate expressions for the energy and angular momentum lost by a compact object during a parabolic encounter with a non-spinning BH.


Pradas & Kerp study the effects of proton flares on XMM EPIC MOS and PN detectors. The find an unreported soft (<0.5 keV) additional background in MOS1.

Hicks & Mushotzky analyze XMM OM data from a sample of 33 galaxies and find a significant UV excess in many central galaxies in cooling flow clusters.

Chluba & Sunyaev point out that induced emission of the softer photon slightly increases the two-photon decay rate of the 2s level of hydrogen. This is important for calculations of cosmological reionization and changes CMB temperature and polarization anisotropies.

Hilton et al. cross-correlate the 2dFGRS and REFLEX.

Gallo et al. find a possible line-like emission feature at 8 keV in an XMM spectrum of a Sy 1.2.

Kirsch et al. give the results of XMM observations of the Crab and discuss its use as an X-ray calibrator.

Kirsch et al. present trend data for the XMM EPIC detectors.

extractor with region files created under Windows

For Hera Bill needs extractor to behave correctly with region files created on a Windows machine. They have LF and CR at the end of each line so regions.f was modified to strip off any extraneous CR. This shouldn't change any other behaviour.

Keywords: heasoft, extractor, Hera