(1) Download the .pha, .rsp, and .lc files for ME x-rays collected by an EXOSAT or ROSAT PSPCB observation.
(2) Run lcurve on the .lc files & powspec on the .flc
files in order to get light curves and power spectra. Itís probably a good
idea to first concatenatethe lcurve data. The light curve will show the
total energy received/sec as time passes. This may help to establish which
ttype of emitted radiation is prominent, luminosity, whether eclipses are
present (indicative of a binary system), and possible periodicities within
the system. The power spectrum can be used to show prominent frequencies
within the system (not which frequencies of light are emitted). These frequencies
may be used, over time, to establish (via the Doppler Effect) how fast
a source is moving relative to us.
(note : powspec can not be done in the ROSAT xselect environment).
If you're trying to find the spin rate of a rapidly spinning neutron star, you'll need to download RXTE data, which has files containing very small bin times.
(3) Run xspec (which you'll need to download!!!) on the .pha (X
Axis parameter is channel ; Y Axis parameter is rate) & .rsp files
(X Axis parameter is keV ; Y Axis parameter is rate) in order to obtain
an energy spectrum in terms of keV. This will show which electromagnetic
frequencies are present in the source and can be used to find the flux
received (ergs/cm2/sec), which can then be used to find the luminosity
of the source.
Running xspec on ROSAT data makes it possible to fit & normalize data to spectral models (power law, thermal bremsstrahlung, or black body Ö the methods of x-ray production)
(4) Run efold to examine periodic behavior. This may reveal details in the light curve that repeat each period but are too weak to be noticed on the light curve.
(5) Use the xselect environment (for ROSAT data) to run saoimage (which
you may have to download also). This will allow you to examine images of