Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Morganti et al. detect 1000 km/s outflows of neutral material from seven radio galaxies. This rate of up to 50 Msun/yr is comparable to outflow rates from ULIRGs.

Aharonian et al. suggest a possible associate between HESS J1825 and the pulsar wind nebula of PSR B1823 based on XMM observations of the latter.

Kauffmann et al. look at the scatter in colours and spectral line strengths of local galaxies and deduce that star formation in more compact galaxies occurs in high amplitude bursts.

Fabian et al. present first results from the 1Msec Chandra Perseus cluster observation. The pressure ripples observed in shorter observations are shown to be isothermal sound waves that can provide a heat source able to balance radiative cooling.

Chen & Pradhan calculate the ratio of the FeXVII 3s/3d lines using different electron distribution functions and surmise that some of the differences between astrophysical and laboratory measurements may be due to different plasma conditions.

Monday, November 28, 2005

extractor rotated box regions

My fix to the elliptical regions back in July broke the rotated box regions. The subroutines for boxes and ellipses define the rotation angle in the opposite sense. Now fixed so that both are correct (v4.61).

Keywords: HEAsoft, extractor

Thursday, November 17, 2005

xselect bug causing wrong date on lightcurve plots

The values of MJDREFI/F were not propagated everywhere correctly. I think the only consequence was that the label written at the top of the lightcurve plots gave the delta MJD not the MJD. Also did some reorganising of code and split the clear functions out into their own file (xsel_clear.f).

Keywords: HEAsoft, xselect

Monday, November 14, 2005


Wyse & Gilmore review the Galactic populations of long-lived stars and how they can be used to investigate chemical and dynamical evolution.

Wolter et al. find three high-luminosity, narrow-line objects (ie QSO2) in the ROSAT NEP region which XMM spectra show to have no absorption above Galactic.

Revnivtsev et al. analyze RXTE scan and slew observations of the Galactic ridge X-ray emission and show that the intensity correlates with the near-infrared surface brightness and hence that the ridge emission is likely made up of many low luminosity point sources.

O'Hara et al. examine the effects of cool-cores and mergers on cluster scaling relations. They suggest that effects of cool-cores can be seen outside the cores themselves indicating that global mechanisms are at work. The evidence does not support the scenario that clusters develop cool-cores till disrupted by mergers.

Plaszczynski et al. present a fast algorithm for generating 1/f^alpha noise by filtering a white noise signal.

Liedahl & Torres provide a tutorial summary of Fe K line emission from accretion disks.

Lieu et al. claim that by comparing a WMAP and X-ray observations of a randomly-selected sample of 20 nearby clusters that the observed SZE effect is not as large as predicted.

Goad et al. describe deep XMM observations of the ULX HoII X-1 and conclude it is a high-luminosity analog of a Galactic microquasar.

Kontar et al. calculate angle-dependent Green's functions for the Compton reflection problem in Solar flares.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

new models added to xspec v12

I've added Martin Still's dust extinction models and Slava Zavlin and George Pavlov's NS atmosphere model to the xspec v12 for the forthcoming release. When the release is out I will retire them from the additional models webpage.

Keywords: HEAsoft, xspec

Sunday, November 06, 2005

PLT command lengths in xspec v11

Bill ran into a problem running the Swift processing script under Hera. He needed to create a gif file in xspec v11 in a remote directory with a long pathname. This overran the string length available in xspec. Modified xspec to allow longer PLT command names and device names. I also had to modify PLT to increase the allowed device name length. The limit now is 80 characters which seems to be imposed by the PGPLOT code. I've not tried to track down where that is set.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Theatre: Cuttin' Up

Last night went to Arena stage for the first night preview of world premiere. Cuttin' Up is written and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright adapted from the book of the same name by Craig Marberry, who visited African-American barbershops around the US collecting the stories told there. The barbershop and the church are the two places African-American men can gather and talk and a rich history has built up around the former. The play presents that history as stories told by the three barbers and their customers, all of whom are played five actors in a wide variety of wigs. Dramatic tension is supplied by the conflict between the owner and the man he wants to be his successor, but who has a history of leaving cities and marriages. I found the story suprisingly effective since it is little more than a rack on which to hang a wonderful collection of vignettes and songs. Among the former my favourite was a competition between a Baptist and an AME preacher. The Baptist played by Bill Grimmette finished with a peroration on the importance of the barbershop delivered in full sermon style.

The show was almost stolen by Marva Hicks playing all the female characters from hot youngster, through mother from the projects, R&B singer, outrageously-dressed Texan female barber, to the 75-year-old mother of one of the barbers. She and many other cast members pulled off some very fast changes, both of clothes and hair styles. The other star of the show is the costume department with their wonderful collection of wigs all the way up to a 2-ft wide Afro.

With an almost full house for first-night preview and a standing ovation at the end this one will be a hit for Arena.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

chkrmf fix

Fixed infinite loop which arises if one of the extensions doesn't have its EXTNAME set. Also replaced explicit loop through extensions with calls to go to named extensions. Note that this program and its peers (chkarf, chkpha) could do with an overhaul and check for consistency with the current standard.

Keywords: HEAsoft

minor extractor bug with multiple event files

There was an error in the code comparing TLMIN/MAX values for WMAP columns when reading multiple event files. This produced a spurious warning message about different sizes for XCOLH and YCOLH columns. Fixed in v4.60.

Keywords: HEAsoft, extractor