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The Leicester Ginga Databases

D. A. Smith & J. P. Osborne

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK

Abstract:

The Japanese satellite Ginga made over 1000 observations of celestial X-ray sources with the LAC collimated proportional counter during 1987-91. Its large area, ~4000 cm², and broad energy range, 1.5-37 keV, made the Ginga LAC a unique and popular X-ray detector.

In this paper we describe the automatic processing of the Ginga LAC MPC1 data to produce the databases. Over 80% of Ginga observations were made in this mode, which provided full spectral resolution together with 16 second time resolution. We describe the production of a series of universal background models which were used to background subtract both source and off-source (nominally empty) fields. Some datasets were background-subtracted using a local method which made use of contemporaneous background observations where these were available. We describe the data selection and the various quality checks that have been made. The results of the processing are available in the gingalac and gingabgd databases within the Leicester data archive service. They include count rates, hardness ratios, a variability measure and the results of limited spectral fitting. A uniformly applied quality flag is also provided. There are product files associated with each database entry. These files conform to the OGIP FITS conventions where applicable. They include data cubes, spectra and light curves, and also plots summarising the quality of the observation and the results of the spectral fits.

The data in the gingalac and gingabgd databases will allow the less expert user to benefit from the Ginga observations. These have not previously been widely available, being in a Ginga-specific format, but are now made available for the more experienced user in the gingafrf database at the same location.



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