XMM-Newton-NEWS  #46,    01-Feb-2005

XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre,
P.O. Box - Apdo. 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain

SOC Home Page: https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/xmm-newton/
Helpdesk web interface: https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/xmm-newton/xmm-newton-helpdesk
Helpdesk email address: xmmhelp@sciops.esa.int
News Mailing List: https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/xmm-newton/newsletter


XMM-Newton Optical Monitor Spectral Response Files (Response Matrices)

To aid the combined spectral fitting of XMM-Newton Optical Monitor (OM) and X-ray data, OM spectral response matrices have been prepared.

These response files are available for downloading from a dedicated XMM-Newton web-site at http://xmm.esac.esa.int/external/xmm_sw_cal/calib/om_files.shtml, which also provides details of their usage.

The files give a single-point conversion from filter count rate to flux and are compatible with spectral fitting programs such as XSPEC. Although, in general, the conversion would be subject to a color correction dependent on the source spectrum, the OM filter transmission is sufficiently flat that these spectral effects are small compared with the global error quoted for the conversion.

Version 4 of the Science Simulator (SciSim) released

Version 4.0.4 of SciSim, the XMM-Newton Science Simulator for the generation of realistic simulated science data for a wide range of observational scenarios, has been integrated in January 2005.

The main aim of this release is to make SciSim more accessible to non-experts. At the same time it should make it possible to perform the sequence of activities:

    Simulation > Data-Conversion-into-ODF > Data-Analysis-with-SAS

in a simple and standardised way, and should allow calibration experts to re-assess the reliability of the different elements of XMM-Newton simulations.

The changes with respect to the former version are the following:
The work on SciSim has been complemented with an upgrade of the SAS task odffix, which makes possible the ingestion of SciSim-generated ODFs into the SAS. Also, a release of all calibration files to be used in the reduction, through the SAS, of SciSim generated data, is coordinated with this release.

In addition to the natural documentation upgrade reflecting the changes with respect to the former SciSim version, new documentation for guiding the user especially through the analysis of SciSim data has been generated for each of the instruments, and can be found on the SciSim web pages;


While systematic studies by the XMM-Newton SOC calibration teams should follow this release in order to revise strengths, accuracies and short-comings of SciSim, a first attempt to summarize this is given in a technical note included on the web pages.

Madrid (ESAC) Symposium "The X-ray Universe 2005": further details

As announced on 28-Oct-2004, the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre is organizing a major astrophysical symposium from Monday 26th to Friday 30th September 2005 in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a scenic Spanish town located some 50 kilometers northwest of Madrid in the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range. The town has a beautiful historic centre which is a declared Artistic Historical Monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The main focus of the meeting will be on high energy astrophysics.

A dedicated conference web page is available at;


which is also accessible through the XMM-Newton SOC web pages at;


The 2nd conference announcement will be distributed at the end of March 2005 and will inform prospective participants about the registration process, abstract submission, booking of accommodation, etc.

Please make sure that you and your colleagues that are interested in this symposium are subscribed to the XMM-Newton Newsletter e-mail distribution list to receive the 2nd announcement, see;


Conference announcement: IAU Symposium No. 230

IAU Symposium No. 230 on "Populations of High-Energy Sources in Galaxies" will be held 15-19 August 2005 in Dublin, Ireland.

The primary objectives for this symposium are:
Latest information is available via;


Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC