A Caltech Library Service

StrayCats: A Catalog of NuSTAR Stray Light Observations

Grefenstette, Brian W. and Ludlam, Renee M. and Thompson, Ellen T. and García, Javier A. and Hare, Jeremy and Jaodand, Amruta D. and Krivonos, Roman A. and Madsen, Kristin K. and Mastroserio, Guglielmo and Slaughter, Catherine M. and Tomsick, John A. and Wik, Daniel and Zoglauer, Andreas (2021) StrayCats: A Catalog of NuSTAR Stray Light Observations. Astrophysical Journal, 909 (1). Art. No. 30. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/abe045.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present StrayCats, a catalog of NuSTAR stray light observations of X-ray sources. Stray light observations arise for sources 1°–4° away from the telescope pointing direction. At this off-axis angle, X-rays pass through a gap between the optics and aperture stop and so do not interact with the X-ray optics; instead, they directly illuminate the NuSTAR focal plane. We have systematically identified and examined over 1400 potential observations resulting in a catalog of 436 telescope fields and 78 stray light sources that have been identified. The sources identified include historically known persistently bright X-ray sources, X-ray binaries in outburst, pulsars, and type I X-ray bursters. In this paper, we present an overview of the catalog, how we identified the StrayCats sources, and the analysis techniques required to produce high-level science products. Finally, we present a few brief examples of the science quality of these unique data.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Grefenstette, Brian W.0000-0002-1984-2932
Ludlam, Renee M.0000-0002-8961-939X
Thompson, Ellen T.0000-0002-3669-2294
García, Javier A.0000-0003-3828-2448
Hare, Jeremy0000-0002-8548-482X
Jaodand, Amruta D.0000-0002-3850-6651
Krivonos, Roman A.0000-0003-2737-5673
Madsen, Kristin K.0000-0003-1252-4891
Mastroserio, Guglielmo0000-0003-4216-7936
Slaughter, Catherine M.0000-0002-5752-3780
Tomsick, John A.0000-0001-5506-9855
Wik, Daniel0000-0001-9110-2245
Zoglauer, Andreas0000-0001-9067-3150
Additional Information:© 2021 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 November 13; revised 2021 January 18; accepted 2021 January 25; published 2021 March 3. This work was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under grant No. 80NSSC19K1023 issued through the NNH18ZDA001N Astrophysics Data Analysis Program (ADAP). R.M.L. acknowledges the support of NASA through Hubble Fellowship Program grant HST-HF2-51440.001. R.A.K. acknowledges support from the Russian Science Foundation (grant 19-12-00396). J.H. acknowledges support from an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at the Goddard Space Flight Center, administered by the USRA through a contract with NASA. Additionally, this work made use of data from the NuSTAR mission, a project led by the California Institute of Technology, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We thank the NuSTAR Operations, Software and Calibration teams for support with the execution and analysis of these observations. This research has made use of the NuSTAR Data Analysis Software (NuSTARDAS), jointly developed by the ASI Science Data Center (ASDC, Italy) and the California Institute of Technology (USA). This research has made use of data and/or software provided by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), which is a service of the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA/GSFC. Facilities: NuSTAR - The NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) mission, Swift - , MAXI - , HEASARC. - Software: astropy (Robitaille et al. 2013; Astropy Collaboration et al. 2018), astroquery (Ginsburg et al. 2019), HEASoft/FTOOLS, IDL, 19 matplotlib (Hunter 2007), numpy, 20 pandas (Pandas Development Team 2020), plotly, 21 scikit-image, 22 Veusz. 23
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, NuSTAR
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF2-51440.001
Russian Science Foundation19-12-00396
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:X-ray surveys; Astrophysical black holes; Neutron stars; High mass x-ray binary stars; Low-mass x-ray binary stars; Pulsars
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: X-ray surveys (1824); Astrophysical black holes (98); Neutron stars (1108); High mass x-ray binary stars (733); Low-mass x-ray binary stars (939); Pulsars (1306)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210305-073046158
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Brian W. Grefenstette et al 2021 ApJ 909 30
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108320
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Mar 2021 23:03
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 19:10

Repository Staff Only: item control page