The purpose of this document is to provide a detailed description of the data that are distributed from the XMM-Newton Science Archive (XSA), which is part of the Science Control System (SCS) archive.
The handbook deals with the format and structure used to distribute data from the archive and with the details of individual file contents. Instructions how to find and retrieve data from the XMM-Newton Science archive (XSA) and how to analyse the data with the Science Analysis Subsystem (SAS) can be found in the corresponding documentation ( and ).
Users are referred to section 11 for a list of useful links and documents that provide all the necessary information. In this document we use acronyms which are defined in section 9. We draw particular attention to the XMM-Newton Users Handbook (UHB), .