A real-time transient detector and the living Swift-XRT point source catalogue

P. A. Evans, K. L. Page, A. P. Beardmore, R. A.J. Eyles-Ferris, J. P. Osborne, S. Campana, J. A. Kennea, S. B. Cenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We present the Living Swift-XRT Point Source (LSXPS) catalogue and real-time transient detector. This system allows us for the first time to carry out low-latency searches for new transient X-ray events fainter than those available to the current generation of wide-field imagers, and report their detection in near real time. Previously, such events could only be found in delayed searches, e.g. of archival data; our low-latency analysis now enables rapid and ongoing follow-up of these events, enabling the probing of time-scales previously inaccessible. The LSXPS is, uniquely among X-ray catalogues, updated in near real time, making this the first up-to-date record of the point sources detected by a sensitive X-ray telescope: the SwiftX-ray Telescope. The associated upper limit calculator likewise makes use of all available data allowing contemporary upper limits to be rapidly produced on demand. These facilities, which enable the low-latency transient system, are also fully available to the community, providing a powerful resource for time-domain and multimessenger astrophysics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-184
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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