Status Report

A citizen science exploration of the X-ray transient sky using the EXTraS science gateway

By SpaceRef Editor
November 18, 2019
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Daniele D’Agostino, Duncan Law-Green, Mike Watson, Giovanni Novara, Andrea Tiengo, Stefano Sandrelli, Andrea Belfiore, Ruben Salvaterra, Andrea De Luca

(Submitted on 15 Nov 2019)

Modern soft X-ray observatories can yield unique insights into time domain astrophysics, and a huge amount of information is stored – and largely unexploited – in data archives. Like a treasure-hunt, the EXTraS project harvested the hitherto unexplored temporal domain information buried in the serendipitous data collected by the European Photon Imaging Camera instrument onboard the XMM- Newton satellite in 20 years of observations. The result is a vast catalogue, describing the temporal behaviour of hundreds of thousands of X-ray sources. But the catalogue is just a starting point because it has to be, in its turn, further analysed. During the project an education activity has been defined and run in several workshops for high school students in Italy, Germany and UK. The final goal is to engage the students, and in perspective citizen scientists, to go through the whole validation process: they look into the data and try to discover new sources, or to characterize already known sources. This paper describes how the EXTraS science gateway is used to accomplish these tasks and highlights the first discovery, a flaring X-ray source in the globular cluster NGC 6540.

Comments: Accepted for publication in Future Generation Computing Systems, Special issue on Science gateways 2018

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

DOI: 10.1016/j.future.2019.10.030

Cite as: arXiv:1911.06559 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1911.06559v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Andrea De Luca 

[v1] Fri, 15 Nov 2019 10:51:04 UTC (1,375 KB)

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