This Legacy journal article was published in Volume 1, May 1992, and has not been updated since publication. Please use the search facility above to find regularly-updated information about this topic elsewhere on the HEASARC site.


N. E. White


This is the first issue of Legacy, a biannual Journal published by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center, HEASARC. This new journal provides both up-to-date information about activities at the HEASARC and articles on high energy data research including, e.g., calibration reports, analysis techniques, and data format standards. Contributions to Legacy are solicited from both within the HEASARC and from members of the community who wish to make available information about high energy data.

This issue of Legacy provides an overview of the HEASARC functions, and initial activities. The HEASARC is using FITS as a standard for data distribution and analysis. The FITSIO package written by Bill Pence to provide a simple interface to read and write FITS files was released last summer and has proven a popular package in the astronomical community as a whole. This issue contains an article about the HEASARC FITS effort. The Astro-D mission will be the next major imaging X-ray astronomy mission and one of the data sets to be placed in the HEASARC archive; there is an article describing the data analysis and archive plans. As a precursor to Astro-D the HEASARC has constructed an observation log for the previous Japanese mission, Ginga, and this is described in this issue.

An important component of Legacy will be calibration articles and this first issue is no exception. There are updates to the EXOSAT ME and LE calibrations, and a description of the Einstein Solid State Spectrometer calibrations. We encourage instrument groups with calibration reports to submit them for publication in Legacy.

The HEASARC will promote a multi-mission approach to data analysis. This issue describes the multi-mission spectral analysis package XSPEC. Other articles on useful, public domain, software packages are welcome for future issues.

The HEASARC data holding can be accessed either on-line, or by visiting GSFC. There is a brief description of the HEASARC on-line service here which allows users to remotely login, browse, and extract data. Data sets that are available now include HEAO 1, HEAO 2 (Einstein), EXOSAT, Ginga plus numerous catalogs. The HEASARC also welcomes visitors and there are instructions on how to book the facility.

Legacy will be published in the spring and fall of each year. Articles for each issue should be submitted to the editors by March 15 or September 15.

Editors: Karen M. Smale

Nick White

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