Bayesian matching for X-ray and infrared sources in the MYStIX project
Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
American Astronomical Society
This is the final version of the article. Available from the American Astronomical Society via the DOI in this record.
Identifying the infrared counterparts of X-ray sources in Galactic plane fields such as those of the MYStIX project presents particular difficulties due to the high density of infrared sources. This high stellar density makes it inevitable that a large fraction of X-ray positions will have a faint field star close to them, which standard matching techniques may incorrectly take to be the counterpart. Instead we use the infrared data to create a model of both the field star and counterpart magnitude distributions, which we then combine with a Bayesian technique to yield a probability that any star is the counterpart of an X-ray source. In our more crowded fields, between 10% and 20% of counterparts that would be identified on the grounds of being the closest star to an X-ray position within a 99% confidence error circle are instead identified by the Bayesian technique as field stars. These stars are preferentially concentrated at faint magnitudes. Equally importantly the technique also gives a probability that the true counterpart to the X-ray source falls beneath the magnitude limit of the infrared catalog. In deriving our method, we place it in the context of other procedures for matching astronomical catalogs. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
The MYStIX project is supported at Penn State by NASA grant NNX09AC74G, NSF grant AST-0908038, and the Chandra ACIS Team contract SV4-74018 (G. Garmire & L. Townsley, Principal Investigators), issued by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of NASA under contract NAS8-03060. This research made use of data products from the Chandra Data Archive and the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (California Institute of Technology) under a contract with NASA.
Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series, 2013, Vol. 209, Number 2