We describe a process for cross-calibrating the effective areas of X-ray telescopes that observe common targets. The targets are not assumed to be "standard candles" in the classic sense, in that we assume that the source fluxes have well-defined, but a priori unknown values. Using a technique developed by Chen et al. that involves a statistical method called shrinkage estimation, we determine effective area correction factors for each instrument that bring estimated fluxes into the best agreement, consistent with prior knowledge of their effective areas. We expand the technique to allow unique priors on systematic uncertainties in effective areas for each X-ray astronomy instrument and to allow correlations between effective areas in different energy bands. We demonstrate the method with several data sets from various X-ray telescopes.
The Astronomical Journal
- Pub Date:
- December 2021
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 37 pages, 9 figures, and 10 tables plus an appendix with 7 data tables. Accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal