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The paper was submitted on 2020 Feb 20, and accepted on Apr 28. Posted to arXiv at

Earlier goal was to try to submit the paper by end of 2015 mid-2016 late-2016 mid-2017 late-2017 early 2018 late 2018 mid 2019 end 2019 2020 Jan (sigh).

Most recently we reviewed the draft via teleconference on 2019 Dec 17, and a pre-submission draft has now (Dec 20) been circulated. The plan is to collect feedback through 2020 Jan 17 and submit as soon as possible after that.

Please as a matter of urgency check the outstanding paper tasks below and let me (Duncan) know if you can't complete them by this date.

Earlier we met in Amsterdam (with some attendees via Zoom) on 2019 Oct 23 to discuss the final tasks. The paper todos below have been updated based on that discussion; and our next target is having a comment-free draft essentially ready for submission by 2019 November 17 unavoidable delay from the original target of Nov 8.

Before that (in 2017 June) we had a few MINBAR team meetings at DTU and SRON, on 30 June 2017 at SRON, Utrecht with DKG, Jean in 't Zand (host), Anna Watts, & Erik Kuulkers; and 1–2 June 2017 at DTU Space, Denmark. Here is a link to a Google doc where we're collecting progress from that meeting

Please volunteer for those marked help wanted if you have some time to contribute. Feel free to assume responsibility to any of the other unassigned/inactive tasks; please keep this up to date with any progress.

Have moved the completed tasks to a separate page (click to view)

The paper

Pre-submission draft now available at ShareLaTeX. For those who've received a share invitation, feel free to contribute

Here's a script for use with IDL to set up borders, character sizes, and line thickness, to try to maintain consistency for all figures in the paper (might not be much help if you don't use IDL)

Below are some specific tasks identified which need addressing

Task assigned to status
Address any existing comments in the text, as per instructions below:
  1. first try to add it yourself in the Overleaf document (in “track changes”/suggestion mode). Add comments justifying your changes if it’s not clear from the text
  2. if you aren’t able to address the issue yourself, please clearly indicate to whom the comment is addressed using the macros for individual comments. E.g. a comment addressed to Jean (from me) would look in the text like\jz{is that a typo on the previous line? — dkg} % Sep 2019(note also this comment is dated, not necessary if you’re using track changes) See the macros beginning line 85 of main.tex for the appropriate command to use
  3. if it’s a general comment use \notitie but also include your initials and the date. Please indicate what is the issue and why you think it should be fixed (and suggestions for how, if you’ve already ruled out option #1 above)
  4. As a final point, please review any comments that are addressed to you as per the macro commands and either ask for clarification with whoever made them, or try to address them (e.g. using suggestion mode for endorsement by the other contributors if necessary).
all in progress
add windup/conclusion section describing the future; intention to make analysis software public; give zenodo (or perhaps figshare; here's a possibly outdated comparison link; and handover to the community for further extension dkg, all in progress
add more description of the web interface to the paper; ek suggested listing this as an appendix, but seems there is little support for this idea dkg defer for now
UPDATE YOUR AFFILIATION ek, cs, all complete 17.2.20
add references for additional instruments (ideally including discussion of burst samples) referred to in future work (sec. 9.9) all complete
generate new version of the burst oscillation table based on Laura's update sent Nov 10 2019 Dec (Amplitudes_bo_2019-dec.txt); notes from earlier version "includes an extra column for a 3-sigma upper limit on the amplitude for bursts without detected oscillation signals. The table includes all columns listed in table 13 of the paper (with an extra column after column 11), except for column 5: MINBAR observation ID. I couldn't find what this was, so I have only included the observation ID and entry." MRT version completed, minbar-osc.txt; sent to L. Ootes for review dkg complete 7.2.20
move the more detailed discussion on the effect of many bursts on the peak luminosity in the Eddington flux section (5.4) to the companion paper hw completed 2019 Nov


RXTE and BeppoSAX bursts are largely complete; JEM-X data included through revolution 1166.

Task assigned to status
check the ASCII table (available here) for bogus values; a good way is to try to do some science on the sample to verify the data. If you spot bogus values, or things that don’t seem to make sense (or match the description in the paper) please let me (Duncan) know help wanted in progress
Re-do lightcurve analysis for long BurstIDs 2705 (0614+09), 3663 (0918-54) and 6229 (IGR J17254), which are coming in as too short due to the SCW cutoff; update values in the database jz not started
Check for bursts from the new sources IGR J17445-2747 and Swift J181723.1-164300 (JEM-X light curves are produced) help wanted not started
Review weak/spurious JEM-X bursts, single-bin burst candidates etc. and remove from the sample if necessary. A "good" example of false candidate is AX J1754.2-2754 at MJD 52750.77136 (#4318, JEM-X obs 006300690010). Need to assess how this ended up in the database (not even present on image) dkg, jc help wanted in progress
truncate the flux histories for 11 bursts from Cyg X-2 (2318, 2412, 2415, 2596, 3210, 3224, 3239, 3240, 3248, 3250, 3346) to improve the precision of the fluence measurement; these events seem to have a higher post-burst flux level than before dkg not started
address missing-data issues for PCA bursts from 4U 1728-34; #8366 (30424-01-05-00R) doesn't seem to have any data; should this be flagged? #4188 is purportedly in 40433-01-01-00, but I think actually should be 40433-01-01-01S (fixed). Also in Anya's list of obsid discrepancies below dkg in progress
review new bursts from 4U 1728-34 and the Rapid Burster detected in offset fields (#8293 and above) to remove effect of type-II bursts, check parameters dkg in progress
check WFC bolometric fluxes, fluen; not matching raw data? e.g. #1719 dkg not started
review low-significance fluence measurements and consider flagging if too imprecise dkg not started
calculate persistent fluxes for RXTE bursts using only the interval prior to the burst dkg not started
copy colours and persistent fluxes (columns: perflx, perflxe, pemin, pemax, sc, hc, s_z) from minbar-obs database (where available). Wrote for this purpose; now filters on colour, and includes BeppoSAX bursts (but omits the burst-specific persistent flux levels) recurring task dkg updated 2020 Jan
update the trec values; this can be set equal to the separation tdel (where there are no gaps since the previous burst), or based on the recurrence time analysis, e.g. for regular bursters like GS 1826-24 (cf. with the reference burst paper). Also calculate alpha where possible. Wrote and for these purposes recurring task dkg checked 2020 Jan
angle parameter in minbar and minbar-obs don't (ever) agree for PCA and JEM-X bursts; need to double-check and fix dkg complete 22.1.20
fill new "string" flag column in IDL table, for use with the web table dkg complete 21.1.20
add new bursts from Jean's analysis of 2019 Dec 14 and update tables, numbers etc.; waiting for missing lightcurves dkg, jc complete 17.1.20
update lightcurve fits for bursts #5792, 5794 with Jean's analysis results emailed on Jan 14 dkg complete 17.1.20
generate images around the time of selected newly-added JEM-X bursts to confirm localisation jc, cs defer, low priority
share some example all-detector event files for bright events to test sub-10s time-resolved spectral analysis. May be obsolete if the new OSA can produce sub-10s spectra jc, dkg defer, next release
extract time-resolved spectra for JEM-X bursts also detected by RXTE, following the same recipe as for BeppoSAX, for comparison of time-resolved spectroscopy jc defer, next release
run search for bursts from new burst source IGR J00291+5934; the Swift burst was very bright, so it seems unlikely that we'd miss one of these dkg defer, next release


BeppoSAX persistent fluxes complete, some RXTE observations still need re-fitting, also working on updated colour analysis. JEM-X observations through rev. 1166 (2012 May 3) have been incorporated into the database.

Task assigned to status
check the ASCII table (available here) for bogus values; a good way is to try to do some science on the sample to verify the data. If you spot bogus values, or things that don’t seem to make sense (or match the description in the paper) please let me (Duncan) know all in progress
check for duplicate observation entries, and flag extras (as -1) dkg not started
check for -ve sigma values and fix if possible dkg not started
refit the spectra with Gaussian components where the centroid energy and/or the line width are outside the limits prescribed by dkg in progress
there are many observations where the significance deviates from this ratio; and also where the error on the count rate is not given (or is negative). Need to fix these and/or update the description under "significance" in section minbar-obs dkg not started
fix/replace JEM-X observation-averaged spectra with STAT_ERR=0 jc in progress
copy updated spectra to xray and re-run the spectral fits for all the JEM-X observations, including the updated nH value for IGR J17254-3257, and the observations of the new source XTE J1812–182 dkg waiting for
incorporate observations of the new burst source IGR J17445-2747 through rev. 1122 IF any bursts are detected from the source jc not started
re-fit all JEM-X and PCA spectra with sub-significance threshold fluxes, with power law model with fixed gamma=2 dkg in progress
re-fit the RXTE spectra for which the model attribute is blank, and fix the instr attribute (list has been saved in obsflux_progress.dat for use with dkg not started
complete spectral fits for PCA and JEM-X observations where the emin, emax, and/or model entries indicate out-of-date fits dkg in progress
fix the minbar-obs JEM-X entries for which the count-rates have been erroneously scaled assuming OSA >=10 normalisation; see jc, dkg in progress
check the 1930 missing spectra for JEM-X observations with off-axis angle < 5 degrees. Should these not have been created? (have been flagged "persistent spectrum not available" in the notes field). Jérôme has reviewed these and provided updated spectra; see email of 8th December 2016 jc in progress
correct count, counte columns for RXTE, JEM-X observations; listed as count/s, but need to convert to count/s/cm2 with Jean's nominal instrumental areas for consistency with BeppoSAX values. Also, counte for RXTE observations are all set to 1; seems to have been incorrectly read in by spec_param dkg in progress
calculate gamma-values (once all the spectral fits are done) and update database (both minbar-obs and minbar using, now with updated anisotropy corrections recurring task updated 2019 Dec
cross-check colours for JEM-X, BeppoSAX observations against (simultaneous) RXTE obs in progress
add RXTE observations of new burst source IGR J00291+5934 (but only if we detect a burst with JEM-X; see Kuin et al. 2015) dkg waiting for
verify spectral fits via chi^2 values, and update for outliers; identified need for update JEM-X spectra waiting for
angle parameter in minbar and minbar-obs don't (ever) agree for PCA and JEM-X bursts and observations; need to double-check and fix dkg complete 22.1.20
fill new "string" flag column in IDL table, for use with the web table dkg complete 21.1.20


This table is stored as a FITS file, minbar_sources.fits, also available to the public at It is based initially on the INTEGRAL source catalog, and so new additions are copied from there. The table currently contains 112 entries (v2.0 as 26/4/18).

Task assigned to status
add IGR J17591-2342 to the table (waiting for Kuiper et al., in prep; not reported elsewhere) dkg, jc waiting for
add Gaia source IDs, info provided by Hauke to the table dkg not started
check against Jean's list dkg not started
update numbers of bursts & observations recurring task dkg revised 20.12.17
add flag "T" (transient) for 1RXS J180408.9-342058; likely not UCB, due to long regular bursts (Marino et al. 2019). What about "burst-only" sources? Also add "T" for SAX J1818 dkg, jc, jz complete
check the bibcodes, some are not correct in the FITS file dkg complete 14.2.20
add burst rates (presently stored in a file, burst_rate_average.dat) to the FITS file dkg complete 17.2.20
Add nH value for 4U 1708-40 to the table, once the value (and source) are confirmed dg defer, low priority

Web interface

Task assigned to status
check that web interface queries described in section 6 match the numbers in the paper dkg not started
copy explanatory text from section 6 of the paper to web interface help pages dkg not started
complete routine to copy time-resolved spectroscopy files, and run on all good-quality bursts dkg in progress
download standard products to complete the sample of RXTE lightcurves dkg in progress
create template page for bursts dkg preliminary version created
create template page for observations dkg preliminary version created
duplicate template page for each burst dkg not started
copy RXTE burst light curves to web host dkg waiting for
duplicate template page for each observation, but don't use the current WFC light curves (see related task in the minbar-obs section) dkg not started
copy BeppoSAX burst light curves to web host dkg waiting for
fix the burst queries; I think this is failing because of the change in data type for the rexp column. Emailed Simon Yu to get some help with this task 2018 Sep 5 dkg completed 12.4.19

Deferred list

This list of tasks have been dropped/descoped/deferred to future versions, in the interests of completing the analysis for DR1

database Task assigned to status
minbar develop/adapt time-resolved spectral fitting code for JEM-X bursts jmz/dkg/jc/cs not started
minbar apply spectral fitting code to all JEM-X bursts dkg not started
minbar extract slew light curves, now possible with the latest OSA version, and search for additional bursts not started
minbar-obs incorporate JEM-X observations into minbar-obs beyond rev. 1166 into MINBAR; spectra (and light curves?) now available through rev. 1499 (2015-01-24) 21/9/2016 dkg not started
minbar-obs revise screening procedure for off-axis RXTE observations to enable data extraction (these are currently reported as "no good times"). Need to relax screening criteria in and then add a check for stable offset pointing estimate how much data there is dkg not started
minbar review candidates, incorporating images, to confirm candidates and origin through INTEGRAL rev. 1229. dkg, jc in progress
minbar identify additional sources with lots of bursts in the soft state (S_Z >= 2), that should have the best chance of detecting burst oscillations (cf. with search of 4U 1746-37 and 4U 1705-44) anya not started
minbar run burst search for lightcurves beyond the current revolution limit dkg not started
minbar review frequent JEM-X events from the Rapid Burster to identify the type-I examples in trains of type-II bursts not started

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Page last modified on May 13, 2020, at 12:24 AM