Craig S. Anderson

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (7)44.51 Total impact

  • Source
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    ABSTRACT: The first release of the Chandra Source Catalog (CSC) contains ~95,000 X-ray sources in a total area of ~0.75% of the entire sky, using data from ~3,900 separate ACIS observations of a multitude of different types of X-ray sources. In order to maximize the scientific benefit of such a large, heterogeneous data-set, careful characterization of the statistical properties of the catalog, i.e., completeness, sensitivity, false source rate, and accuracy of source properties, is required. Characterization efforts of other, large Chandra catalogs, such as the ChaMP Point Source Catalog (Kim et al. 2007) or the 2 Mega-second Deep Field Surveys (Alexander et al. 2003), while informative, cannot serve this purpose, since the CSC analysis procedures are significantly different and the range of allowable data is much less restrictive. We describe here the characterization process for the CSC. This process includes both a comparison of real CSC results with those of other, deeper Chandra catalogs of the same targets and extensive simulations of blank-sky and point source populations.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 05/2011; 194(2). · 14.14 Impact Factor
  • Source
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    ABSTRACT: The Chandra Source Catalog (CSC) is a general purpose virtual X-ray astrophysics facility that provides access to a carefully selected set of generally useful quantities for individual X-ray sources, and is designed to satisfy the needs of a broad-based group of scientists, including those who may be less familiar with astronomical data analysis in the X-ray regime. The first release of the CSC includes information about 94,676 distinct X-ray sources detected in a subset of public Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer imaging observations from roughly the first eight years of the Chandra mission. This release of the catalog includes point and compact sources with observed spatial extents lsim30''. The catalog (1) provides access to the best estimates of the X-ray source properties for detected sources, with good scientific fidelity, and directly supports scientific analysis using the individual source data; (2) facilitates analysis of a wide range of statistical properties for classes of X-ray sources; and (3) provides efficient access to calibrated observational data and ancillary data products for individual X-ray sources, so that users can perform detailed further analysis using existing tools. The catalog includes real X-ray sources detected with flux estimates that are at least 3 times their estimated 1σ uncertainties in at least one energy band, while maintaining the number of spurious sources at a level of lsim1 false source per field for a 100 ks observation. For each detected source, the CSC provides commonly tabulated quantities, including source position, extent, multi-band fluxes, hardness ratios, and variability statistics, derived from the observations in which the source is detected. In addition to these traditional catalog elements, for each X-ray source the CSC includes an extensive set of file-based data products that can be manipulated interactively, including source images, event lists, light curves, and spectra from each observation in which a source is detected.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 07/2010; 189(1):37. · 16.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Chandra Source Catalog (CSC) is breaking new ground in several areas. There are two aspects that are of particular interest to the users: its evolution and its contents. The CSC will be a living catalog that becomes richer, bigger, and better in time while still remembering its state at each point in time. This means that users will be able to take full advantage of new additions to the catalog, while retaining the ability to back-track and return to what was extracted in the past. The CSC sheds the limitations of flat-table catalogs. Its sources will be characterized by a large number of properties, as usual, but each source will also be associated with its own specific data products, allowing users to perform mini custom analysis on the sources. Source properties fall in the spatial (position, extent), photometric (fluxes, count rates), spectral (hardness ratios, standard spectral fits), and temporal (variability probabilities) domains, and are all accompanied by error estimates. Data products cover the same coordinate space and include event lists, images, spectra, and light curves. In addition, the catalog contains data products covering complete observations: event lists, background images, exposure maps, etc. This work is supported by NASA contract NAS8-03060 (CXC).
    08/2009; -1:187.
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    ABSTRACT: The first release of the Chandra Source Catalog (CSC) contains all sources identified from eight years' worth of publicly accessible observations. The vast majority of these sources have been observed with the ACIS detector and have spectral information in 0.5-7 keV energy range. Here we describe the methods used to automatically derive spectral properties for each source detected by the standard processing pipeline and included in the final CSC. Hardness ratios were calculated for each source between pairs of energy bands (soft, medium and hard) using the Bayesian algorithm (BEHR, Park et al. 2006). The sources with high signal to noise ratio (exceeding 150 net counts) were fit in Sherpa (the modeling and fitting application from the Chandra Interactive Analysis of Observations package, developed by the Chandra X-ray Center; see Freeman et al. 2001). Two models were fit to each source: an absorbed power law and a blackbody emission. The fitted parameter values for the power-law and blackbody models were included in the catalog with the calculated flux for each model. The CSC also provides the source energy flux computed from the normalizations of predefined power-law and black-body models needed to match the observed net X-ray counts. In addition, we provide access to data products for each source: a file with source spectrum, the background spectrum, and the spectral response of the detector. This work is supported by NASA contract NAS8-03060 (CXC).
    08/2009; -1:87.
  • Source
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    ABSTRACT: Chandra Source Catalog processing recalibrates each observation using the latest available calibration data, and employs a wavelet-based source detection algorithm to identify all the X-ray sources in the field of view. Source properties are then extracted from each detected source that is a candidate for inclusion in the catalog. Catalog processing is completed by matching sources across multiple observations, merging common detections, and applying quality assurance checks. The Chandra Source Catalog processing system shares a common processing infrastructure and utilizes much of the functionality that is built into the Standard Data Processing (SDP) pipeline system that provides calibrated Chandra data to end-users. Other key components of the catalog processing system have been assembled from the portable CIAO data analysis package. Minimal new software tool development has been required to support the science algorithms needed for catalog production. Since processing pipelines must be instantiated for each detected source, the number of pipelines that are run during catalog construction is a factor of order 100 times larger than for SDP. The increased computational load, and inherent parallel nature of the processing, is handled by distributing the workload across a multi-node Beowulf cluster. Modifications to the SDP automated processing application to support catalog processing, and extensions to Chandra Data Archive software to ingest and retrieve catalog products, complete the upgrades to the infrastructure to support catalog processing.
  • Source
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    ABSTRACT: We present the Chandra Multiwavelength Project (ChaMP) X-ray point source catalog with ~6800 X-ray sources detected in 149 Chandra observations covering ~10 deg2. The full ChaMP catalog sample is 7 times larger than the initial published ChaMP catalog. The exposure time of the fields in our sample ranges from 0.9 to 124 ks, corresponding to a deepest X-ray flux limit of f0.5-8.0 = 9 × 10-16 ergs cm-2 s-1. The ChaMP X-ray data have been uniformly reduced and analyzed with ChaMP-specific pipelines and then carefully validated by visual inspection. The ChaMP catalog includes X-ray photometric data in eight different energy bands as well as X-ray spectral hardness ratios and colors. To best utilize the ChaMP catalog, we also present the source reliability, detection probability, and positional uncertainty. To quantitatively assess those parameters, we performed extensive simulations. In particular, we present a set of empirical equations: the flux limit as a function of effective exposure time and the positional uncertainty as a function of source counts and off-axis angle. The false source detection rate is ~1% of all detected ChaMP sources, while the detection probability is better than ~95% for sources with counts 30 and off-axis angle <5'. The typical positional offset between ChaMP X-ray source and their SDSS optical counterparts is 0.7'' ± 0.4'', derived from ~900 matched sources.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 12/2008; 169(2):401. · 14.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Chandra Source Catalog (CSC) is part of the Chandra Data Archive (CDA) at the Chandra X-ray Center. The catalog contains source properties and associated data objects such as images, spectra, and lightcurves. The source properties are stored in relational databases and the data objects are stored in files with their metadata stored in databases. The CDA supports different versions of the catalog: multiple fixed release versions and a live database version. There are several interfaces to the catalog: CSCview, a graphical interface for building and submitting queries and for retrieving data objects; a command-line interface for property and source searches using ADQL; and VO-compliant services discoverable though the VO registry. This poster describes the structure of the catalog and provides an overview of the interfaces.

Publication Stats

53 Citations
44.51 Total Impact Points


  • 2008
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States