Astronomy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for astronomers and astrophysicists. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've got a file which contains data about photons coming from some pulsar. For each photon I know: a) time, when it was registered, b) a probability that this photon came from pulsar but not from galactic background, c) energy of a photon. My task is to find a period of pulsar. I suppose I have to use FFT to find a period but there are two issues. First of all, there are lots of photons with low probability (background photons), so I have to somehow select relevant photons. Second, I've got an unequally spaced data, so there is a problem with using FFT. I am a novice in data processing. Could you please give me links to some lectures or books where this topic is discussed clearly?

share|improve this question
what kind of file is it? Is it FITS file? from what facility? How did you (if it was you) extract the file ? – Py-ser May 29 '14 at 3:44

Naively, I would say that you're looking for a periodicity in the luminosity. What about multiplying the probability with the photon energy, and binning those data? That would allow you to use an FFT.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.