Dr. Renee M. Ludlam
NHFP/Einstein Fellow, CalTech
PhD, University of Michigan
NICER Science Team Member
Currently, I am a NHFP/Einstein Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. I am interested in studying the phenomena associated with the most extreme objects in the Universe: black holes and neutron stars. I have studied black holes across the mass scales (supermassive to stellar mass) prior to pivoting towards investigating the matter that exists in an ultradense, cold state within neutron stars.
NICER Data Crab Correction:
As a member of the NICER science team, I have been involved with the mission since launch and predominantly work on spectral analysis. The calibration is ongoing, but normalizing the data to the Crab Nebula mitigates instrumental features within the spectra (Ludlam et al. 2018). The link below provides a python code that will Crab correct NICER spectra after background subtracting the data using time-averaged observations from blank sky fields. Do not group the data prior to normalizing to the Crab. These files will be updated as calibration improves. Be aware that there are low-E features in the NICER spectrum of the Crab at 0.5 keV and 0.8 keV that may be astrophysical to some degree. Always compare the data before and after normalizing to the Crab to determine which features are astrophysical or instrumental in origin. Please, read the code prior to using and cite Ludlam et al. (2018, ApJL, 858, L5).
"The strongest affection and utmost zeal should, I think, promote the studies concerned with the most beautiful objects. This is the discipline that deals with the universe's divine revolutions, the stars' motions, sizes, distances, risings and settings . . . for what is more beautiful than heaven?" - Nicolaus Copernicus