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An adaptive-binning method for generating constant-uncertainty/constant-significance light curves with Fermi-LAT data

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Type
Preprint
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Submission Date
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201218873
Source
arXiv
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Abstract

We present a method enabling the creation of constant-uncertainty/constant-significance light curves with the data of the Fermi-Large Area Telescope (LAT). The adaptive-binning method enables more information to be encapsulated within the light curve than with the fixed-binning method. Although primarily developed for blazar studies, it can be applied to any sources. This method allows the starting and ending times of each interval to be calculated in a simple and quick way during a first step. The reported mean flux and spectral index (assuming the spectrum is a power-law distribution) in the interval are calculated via the standard LAT analysis during a second step. The absence of major caveats associated with this method has been established by means of Monte-Carlo simulations. We present the performance of this method in determining duty cycles as well as power-density spectra relative to the traditional fixed-binning method.

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