Open Universe survey of Swift -XRT GRB fields: Flux-limited sample of HBL blazars

P. Giommi, Y. L. Chang, S. Turriziani, T. Glauch, C. Leto, F. Verrecchia, P. Padovani, A. V. Penacchioni, F. Arneodo, U. Barres De Almeida, C. H. Brandt, M. Capalbi, O. Civitarese, V. D'Elia, A. Di Giovanni, M. De Angelis, J. Del Rio Vera, S. Di Pippo, R. Middei, M. PerriA. M.T. Pollock, S. Puccetti, N. Ricard, R. Ruffini, N. Sahakyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims. The sample of serendipitous sources detected in all Swift-XRT images pointing at gamma ray bursts (GRBs) constitutes the largest existing medium-deep survey of the X-ray sky. To build such dataset we analysed all Swift X-ray images centred on GRBs and observed over a period of 15 years using automatic tools that do not require any expertise in X-ray astronomy. Besides presenting a new large X-ray survey and a complete sample of blazars, this work aims to be a step in the direction of achieving the ultimate goal of the Open Universe Initiative, which is to enable non-expert people to benefit fully from space science data, possibly extending the potential for scientific discovery, which is currently confined within a small number of highly specialised teams, to a much larger population. Methods. We used the Swift_deepsky Docker container encapsulated pipeline to build the largest existing flux-limited and unbiased sample of serendipitous X-ray sources. Swift_deepsky runs on any laptop or desktop computer with a modern operating system. The tool automatically downloads the data and the calibration files from the archives, runs the official Swift analysis software, and produces a number of results including images, the list of detected sources, X-ray fluxes, spectral energy distribution data, and spectral slope estimations. Results. We used our source list to build the LogN-LogS of extra-galactic sources, which perfectly matches that estimated by other satellites. Combining our survey with multi-frequency data, we selected a complete radio-flux-density-limited sample of high energy peaked blazars (HBL). The LogN-LogS built with this data set confirms that previous samples are incomplete below ∼20 mJy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA141
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Catalogs
  • Galaxies: active
  • Methods: data analysis
  • Surveys
  • X-rays: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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