The eROSITA upper limits: Description and access to the data

Tubín-Arenas D, Krumpe M, Lamer G, Haase J, Sanders J, Brunner H, Homan D, Schwope A, Georgakakis A, Poppenhaeger K, Traulsen I, König O, Merloni A, Gueguen A, Strong A, Liu Z (2024)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2024


Book Volume: 682

Article Number: A35

DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202346773


Context. The soft X-ray instrument eROSITA on board the Spectrum-Roentgen-Gamma (SRG) observatory has successfully completed four of the eight planned all-sky surveys, detecting almost one million X-ray sources during the first survey (eRASS1). The catalog of this survey will be released as part of the first eROSITA data release (DR1). Aims. Based on X-ray aperture photometry, we provide flux upper limits for eRASS1 in several energy bands. We cover galactic longitudes between 180 ≲ l ≲ 360 (eROSITA-DE). These data are crucial for studying the X-ray properties of variable and transient objects, as well as non-detected sources in the eROSITA all-sky survey data. Methods. We performed aperture photometry on every pixel of the SRG/eROSITA standard pipeline data products for all available sky tiles in the single detection band (0.2- 2.3 keV). Simultaneously, we performed the same analysis in the three-band detection at soft (0.2- 0.6 keV), medium (0.6- 2.3 keV), and hard (2.3- 5.0 keV) energy bands. Based on the combination of products for the individual bands, we are also able to provide aperture photometry products and flux upper limits for the 0.2- 5.0 keV energy band. The upper limits were calculated based on a Bayesian approach that utilizes detected counts and background within the circular aperture. Results. The final data products consist of tables with the aperture photometry products (detected counts, background counts, and exposure time), a close-neighbor flag, and the upper flux limit based on an absorbed power-law spectral model (Γ = 2.0, NH = 3 × 1020 cm-2). The upper limits are calculated using the one-sided 3σ confidence interval (CL) of a normal distribution, representing CL = 99.87%. The aperture photometry products allow for an easy computation of upper limits at any other confidence interval and spectral model. These data are stored in a database with hierarchical indexes in order to offer a fast query option. Conclusions. We provide a detailed description of the process of retrieving SRG/eROSITA upper limits for a large set of input positions, as well as of the eROSITA data, the X-ray aperture photometry, the upper limit calculation, and the final data products. The eROSITA upper flux limits represent either the maximum flux of potential non-detections or the 3σ upper flux uncertainty of detected sources. We emphasize the importance of choosing the right spectral model that ought to match the spectral shape of the source of interest: the wrong spectral model can produce discrepancies of up to 30% in the final flux upper limit value. We also describe the architecture of the database and the web tool, which are designed to handle large queries on input positions.

Authors with CRIS profile

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Tubín-Arenas, D., Krumpe, M., Lamer, G., Haase, J., Sanders, J., Brunner, H.,... Liu, Z. (2024). The eROSITA upper limits: Description and access to the data. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 682.


Tubín-Arenas, Dusán, et al. "The eROSITA upper limits: Description and access to the data." Astronomy & Astrophysics 682 (2024).

BibTeX: Download