X-Ray spectra and multiwavelength machine learning classification for likely counterparts to fermi 3FGL unassociated sources

Stephen Kerby, Amanpreet Kaur, Abraham D. Falcone, Michael C. Stroh, Elizabeth C. Ferrara, Jamie A. Kennea, Joseph Colosimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We conduct X-ray spectral fits on 184 likely counterparts to Fermi-LAT 3FGL unassociated sources. Characterization and classification of these sources allows for more complete population studies of the high-energy sky. Most of these X-ray spectra are well fit by an absorbed power-law model, as expected for a population dominated by blazars and pulsars. A small subset of seven X-ray sources have spectra unlike the power law expected from a blazar or pulsar and may be linked to coincident stars or background emission. We develop a multiwavelength machine learning classifier to categorize unassociated sources into pulsars and blazars using gamma-ray and X-ray observations. Training a random forest (RF) procedure with known pulsars and blazars, we achieve a cross-validated classification accuracy of 98.6%. Applying the RF routine to the unassociated sources returned 126 likely blazar candidates (defined as Pbzr 90%) and five likely pulsar candidates (Pbzr < 10%). Our new X-ray spectral analysis does not drastically alter the RF classifications of these sources compared to previous works, but it builds a more robust classification scheme and highlights the importance of X-ray spectral fitting. Our procedure can be further expanded with UV, visual, or radio spectral parameters or by measuring flux variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberabda53
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume161
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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