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Physics of the Cosmos News

6 March 2023

First COSI Data Challenge Released

The Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI) is a Small Explorer satellite mission recently selected by NASA and scheduled to launch in 2027. COSI primarily detects gamma-ray photons between 0.2–5 MeV via Compton scattering, and it acts as a spectrometer, wide-field imager, and polarimeter. In preparation for the upcoming mission, the COSI collaboration has already started developing the data analysis pipelines. To help support this effort we will be conducting yearly data challenges. The two primary goals of this are to aid in the software development and help prepare the scientific community for analyzing COSI data.

The first COSI data challenge is now publicly available and can be found on the COSI Tools GitHub site.

This year's data challenge is based on the 2016 COSI balloon flight, and it entails spectral fitting of two point sources (Crab and Cen A), point source imaging, and diffuse imaging of two line sources (Aluminum-26 and 511 keV). In addition to simulated data, we also include real balloon flight data for analysis of the Crab. The main goal of this challenge is to learn the fundamentals of analyzing Compton data with COSI. We stress that the data analysis tools being used for this first data challenge are only preliminary. We are currently building the high-level analysis software from the bottom-up, and the current tools are just the starting point.

We would like to encourage anybody who is interested in learning more about COSI and Compton telescopes to participate in the first data challenge! Everything needed can be found at the above link. If any problems arise, please open an issue in git. Please don’t hesitate to email Chris Karwin at christopher.m.karwin@nasa.gov with questions. Any feedback is welcomed and would be much appreciated!

NASA Missions Study What May Be a 1-In-10,000-Year
Gamma-ray Burst

On Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, a pulse of intense radiation swept through the solar system so exceptional that astronomers quickly dubbed it the BOAT – the brightest of all time. The source was a gamma-ray burst (GRB), the most powerful class of explosions in the universe. Read more.

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    NASA SMD Seeking Volunteer Reviewers for Research Proposals »  Details.
    6 March
    First COSI Data Challenge Released »  Details.
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    Stellar Intensity Interferometry Workshop 22–24 May 2023 »  Details.
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    NASA Astrophysics Division Statement of Principles »  Details.
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