Spectral Properties
The spectral properties of a source observed by ACIS include a set of hardness ratios determined from the aperture source photon fluxes in the source region, as well as flux determination by power law, blackbody, and thermal bremsstrahlung model spectral fits to PI event data extracted from the source region.
Hardness Ratios
Hardness ratios appear in both the Master Sources Table and the PerObservation Detections Table with the field names hard_xy, hard_xy_hilim, and hard_xy_lolim. The hardness ratios that appear in the Master Sources Table are determined from the best estimates of the aperture source photon fluxes derived from the source regions of the contributing individual source observations contained in the PerObservation Detections Table.
Source hardness ratios are an approximate measure of the source spectral shape based on flux ratios. The hardness ratio for a pair of bands \(x\), \(y\) is defined as
hard_xy = (F(x)  F(y))/ (F(x) + F(y))where \(F(x)\) and \(F(y)\) refer to the aperture source photon flux (field photflux_aper in MSC) in band \(x\), and \(y\). By convention for the catalog, band \(x\) is always the higher energy band. As an example, hard_ms is the mediumtosoft band hardness ratio, defined as
hard_ms = (F(m)  F(s)) / (F(m) + F(s))Note that this definition of hardness ratio is different than that used in Chandra Source Catalog Release 1, where the denominator in the ratio was obtained from combining all three energy bands: soft, medium, and hard.
The aperture fluxes are reported from marginalized probability distributions, which in turn are used to calculate marginalized probability distributions for the hardness ratios. As the reported values for each of these quantities represent the modes of their given distributions, the column hardness ratio values might differ slightly from that calculated directly from the aperture fluxes reported in the catalog.
The catalog includes only the ratios hard_ms, hard_hs, and hard_hm. Hardness ratios using the broad, ultrasoft, and HRC bands are not included in the catalog. The twosided confidence limits associated with the ACIS hardness ratios are computed from the marginalized probability distributions and always lie within the range 1 to 1. If an aperture flux marginalized probability distribution cannot be computed for a given energy band, then no colors associated with that band are reported.
In Chandra Source Catalog Release 2, the individual source detection hardness ratios are also assessed for variability among the individual observations. See the description of Source Variability.
Spectral Model Fits
The descriptions below apply to fields in both the Master Sources Table and PerObservation Detections Table, unless noted otherwise. However, the properties of a master source observation represent the "best estimates" of the actual source properties derived from the set of individual source observations contributing to the master source observation.
Spectral fit parameters may be unreliable for sources at large offaxis angles, where background levels can be high. A backgroundfitting approach will be considered for future releases of the catalog.
The master source spectral fit will use the ACIS observations contained in the best block provided the total summed backgroundsubtracted counts for all of the observations is at least 150 counts in the 0.57.0 keV energy range. If this is the case then joint fits are made using power law, blackbody, and bremsstrahlung models to the PI spectra extracted from the source region, with the final flux value and limits calculated using modelflux.
If there are at least 150 net (backgroundsubtracted) counts in the energy range 0.57.0 keV present in the source region of an ACIS observation, then power law, blackbody, and bremsstrahlung models are fitted to PI spectra extracted from the source region, with the final flux value and limits calculated using modelflux.
Power Law Model
The absorbed power law model spectral fit is performed over the energy range 0.57.0 keV; the free parameters to be fitted are the total equivalent neutral hydrogen absorbing column density, power law photon index, and power law amplitude.

Power Law Model Photon Index
powlaw_gamma, powlaw_gamma_lolim, powlaw_gamma_hilimThe bestfit power law photon index and the associated twosided 68% confidence limits, \(\gamma\), defined as:
FE ∝ Eγ 
Power Law Model Amplitude
powlaw_ampl, powlaw_ampl_lolim, powlaw_ampl_hilimThe bestfit amplitude of the power law model and associated twosided 68% confidence limits in units of photons/s/cm^{2}/keV defined at 1 keV.

Power Law Model N_{H}
powlaw_nh, powlaw_nh_lolim, powlaw_nh_hilimThe bestfit equivalent neutral hydrogen absorbing column, \(N_{H}\), and the associated twosided 68% confidence limits from an absorbed power law model spectral fit in units of 10^{20} cm^{2}.

Power Law Model Spectral Fit Statistic
powlaw_statThe power law model spectral fit statistic is defined as the value of the \(\chi^{2}\) (data variance) statistic per degree of freedom for the bestfitting absorbed power law model.

Power Law Model Spectral Fit Flux
flux_powlaw, flux_powlaw_lolim, flux_powlaw_hilimThe power law model flux and the associated twosided 68% confidence limits represent the integrated 0.57 keV flux derived from the bestfitting absorbed power law model, in units of erg/s/cm^{2}.
Blackbody Model
The absorbed blackbody model spectral fit is performed over the energy range 0.57.0 keV; the free parameters to be fitted are: a total equivalent neutral hydrogen absorbing column density, a blackbody temperature, and a blackbody model amplitude.

Blackbody Spectral Fit Temperature
bb_kt, bb_kt_lolim, bb_kt_hilimThe bestfit blackbody model temperature (kT) in units of keV and the associated twosided 68% confidence limits.

Blackbody Spectral Fit Amplitude
bb_ampl, bb_ampl_lolim, bb_ampl_hilimThe bestfit blackbody model amplitude and the associated twosided 68% confidence limits, proportional to the ratio of the blackbody emitting source radius, \(R\), and the distance to the source, \(d\). The amplitude is defined as:
A = (2pi/[c**2 h**3]) (R/d)**2 = 9.884E31 (R/d)**2; c in [cm/s] and h in [keV s] 
Blackbody Spectral Fit N_{H}
bb_nh, bb_nh_lolim, bb_nh_hilimThe bestfit total equivalent neutral hydrogen column density, \(N_{H}\), and the associated twosided 68% confidence limits from an absorbed blackbody model fit, in units of 10^{20} cm^{2}.

Black Body Model Spectral Fit Statistic
bb_stat
The fit statistic defined as the value of the \(\chi^{2}\) (data variance) statistic per degree of freedom for the bestfitting blackbody model.

Blackbody Spectral Fit Flux
flux_bb, flux_bb_lolim, flux_bb_hilimThe blackbody flux and the associated twosided 68% confidence limits represent the integrated 0.57 keV flux derived from the bestfit absorbed blackbody model, in units of erg/s/cm^{2}.
Bremsstrahlung Model
The absorbed bremsstrahlung model is fit over the energy range 0.57.0 keV; the free parameters to be fitted are: a total equivalent neutral hydrogen absorbing column density, bremsstrahlung temperature, and bremsstrahlung model amplitude.

Bremsstrahlung Spectral Fit Temperature
brems_kt, brems_kt_lolim, brems_kt_hilimThe bestfit bremsstrahlung model temperature (kT) in units of keV and the associated twosided 68% confidence limits.

Bremsstrahlung Spectral Fit Normalization
brems_norm, brems_norm_lolim, brems_norm_hilimThe bestfit bremsstrahlung model normalization and the associated twosided 68% confidence limits. The model normalization is defined by:
(3.02e15/4/pi/D^2) Int n_e n_i dV , where n_e is the electron density (cm^3), n_i is the ion density (cm^3), and D is the distance to the source (cm).where \(n_{e}\) and \(n_{i}\) are the electron and ion number densities, respectively, in cm^{3} and \(D\) is the distance to the source in cm.

Bremsstrahlung Spectral Fit N_{H}
brems_nh, brems_nh_lolim, brems_nh_hilimThe bestfit total equivalent neutral hydrogen column density, \(N_{H}\), and the associated twosided 68% confidence limits from an absorbed bremsstrahlung model fit, in units of 10^{20} cm^{2}.

Bremsstrahlung Spectral Fit Statistic
brems_statThe fit statistic defined as the value of the \(\chi^{2}\) (data variance) statistic per degree of freedom for the bestfitting bremsstrahlung model.

Bremsstrahlung Spectral Fit Flux
flux_brems, flux_brems_lolim, flux_brems_hilimThe bremsstrahlung flux and the associated twosided 68% confidence limits represent the integrated 0.57 keV flux derived from the bestfit absorbed bremsstrahlung model, in units of erg/s/cm^{2}.