Monday, October 30, 2006

PGPLOT background color

Since I never remember how to make sure the background color is white in PGPLOT and PLT plots here are two ways to do it.

1. setenv PGPLOT_BACKGROUND white

2. PLT> scr w
which is a quick alias for
PLT> scr 0 1 1 1
PLT> scr 1 0 0 0

Keywords: HEAsoft, PLT, PGPLOT

new xspec models

Added to the new models page Chris Done's model for partially ionized absorber with velocity shear and Laura Brenneman and Chris Reynold's model for the broad Fe K line from the disk around a rotating black hole.

Keywords: HEAsoft, xspec

Friday, October 27, 2006


Gott et al. compare the topology of large scale structure observed using the SDSS with cosmological simulations.

Jimenez et al. use SDSS spectra of 22000 early-type galaxies to study ages, metallicities and star formation histories. Large galaxies have older stars and chemical enrichment lasts 1-2 Gyr.

Burenin et al. present the results of their 400 sq deg ROSAT PSPC galaxy cluster survey including 266 optically identified clusters, groups, or individual galaxies.

Law et al. find no evidence to suggest that the morphologically irregular galaxies at z~2-3 are due to galaxy mergers.

Mathews et al. find that the large scatter in Lx/Lopt for elliptical galaxies can be attributed to variations in the dark halo mass.

Agol provides a comprehensive set of relations for the efficiency of finding extrasolar planets i coronagraphic surveys.

Lahav offers an astronomical view on astrostatistics.

Guainazzi & Bianchi present the results of XMM RGS observations of 69 obscured AGN which support the scenario that the soft excess is due to photoionization of circumnuclear gas.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

bug fix for diskpbb model

Ken Ebisawa supplied a fix to diskpbb.f. He notes that
  The bug was such that the old normalization was wrong in that it
was 0.75/p times smaller. The correct normalization is obtained
by multiplying 0.75/p to the normalization of the old code. Disk
radius is proportinal to the square root of the normalization, and p
can be as low as 0.5, so the correct inner radius may be up to
1.11 time greater than the radius obtained from the old code.
Luckily, this would not dramatically change the consequences of the
papers already published by old diskpbb code (Okajima et al.,
Vierdayanti et al., and what else?).

Keywords: HEAsoft, xspec

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

energy compression for rbnrmf

Added to rbnrmf the option to compress RMFs in energy bins either using a single compression factor or a series of factors read from an ascii file.

Keywords: HEAsoft

Friday, October 20, 2006

lorentz model documentation error

Mariano Mendez points out that in the xspec v11 documentation the second parameter is described as the line width (sigma). That should be FWHM. The v12 documentation is more ambiguous but also implies that the line width is sigma. Again, it should be FWHM.

Keywords: HEAsoft, xspec

Thursday, October 19, 2006

table model example code

Added twopar - an example program to make an additive table model with two interpolation parameters. Also fixed a couple of potential problems in the wftbmd routine and the onepar program.

Keywords: HEAsoft, xspec

Monday, October 16, 2006

filter time scc

Fixed a bug in the xselect "filter time scc" command which was reported by Phil Evans. In earlier versions of the program the numbers entered if a lightcurve had been extracted were relative to the offset SCC value written in the header of the plot. This behaviour was unintentionally changed in v2.4 to require the absolute SCC number to be entered. The old behaviour has now been restored by editing the routine filter_time_cursor in xsel_utils.f.

Update 10/26/06 : Evert Rol reported that using 'r' as the second option in a time interval gives an error. This would due to a parsing mistake in the str2sec routine.

Keywords: HEAsoft

flx2xsp and wtpha

Created a new version of wtpha - called wtpha3 - which optionally writes multiple spectra in typeII format. Then used this in an upgrade of flx2xsp which can read multiple spectra from the ascii file and write them to a single FITS spectral file. This new option is invoked using the nspec parameter.

Keywords: HEAsoft

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Sahu et al. use HST observations of a Galactic bulge field to find transiting planets, 5 of which have periods < href="">Muchovej et al. report first results from the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Array of measurements of 3 high redshift clusters. Measured cluster properties are consistent with those determined from X-ray observations.

Belsole et al. present results from Chandra & XMM observations of the environments of 19 radio galaxies at 0.5.

Brenneman & Reynolds use Fe-K line observations with XMM and a new model (kerrdisk) to constrain the black hole spin in MCG-6-30-15.

Ziaeepour & Rosen use the Chandra Multi-Wavelength public data to discuss statistical classification of X-ray sources.

Berti & Cardoso discuss how to distinguish massive BHs from boson stars using LISA observations.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Suzaku mdb change

Updated xselect.mdb because the lststr setting for Suzaku XIS was incorrect for the output from v1 processing. The make obscat command does not work without this change.

Also, updated my brief notes on using xselect for Suzaku analysis.

Keywords: Suzaku, HEAsoft, xselect