XMM-Newton-NEWS  #54,    10-Feb-2006

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

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ESAC Science Workshop Announcement

The XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre is organising a workshop in the summer of this year, with the following subject, dates and venue:

Variable and Broad Iron Lines around Black Holes

Monday the 26th to Wednesday the 28th of June 2006

XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre, Madrid, Spain

The meeting will focus on the iron line emitted around accreting black holes and will concentrate on results and discoveries from XMM-Newton, Chandra and Suzaku, as well as other current missions, and on theoretical progress.

Broad iron lines have been observed in the X-ray spectra of some Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) and accreting Galactic Black Holes (GBH). The widths of the lines indicate that the emission originates close to the black hole where strong gravity effects dominate. Variable lines, often with red or blueshifts are also seen, which also come from the inner regions. The broad and variable lines are believed to be due to X-ray reflection from the accretion flow, and to reveal its geometry and dynamics.

Alternative interpretations involving complex absorption introduce some ambiguity which is now being reduced with new data showing evidence for further reflection features such as the soft excess and Compton hump.

We plan an in-depth review of the data and interpretation, and discussion of future challenges.

Further information is available at:

6th ESAC SAS Workshop

The SOC announces the 6th Science Analysis System (SAS) Workshop, which will be held at ESAC from Tuesday the 30th of May to Friday the 2nd of June 2006.

SAS Workshops aim at providing astronomers, having little or no experience of XMM-Newton data analysis, with an introduction to the procedures and techniques to successfully reduce and analyze XMM-Newton data.

About one-third of the Workshop time is devoted to presentations, and the remaining two-thirds to practical training (hands-on) sessions. During the latter, one workstation will be available for every two participants. The lecture program covers topics such as: instrument calibration status, SAS installation and set-up, spectral analysis of point-like sources with EPIC and RGS, EPIC source detection and timing analysis, analysis of extended sources with EPIC, OM data reduction and analysis, the XMM-Newton serendipitous source catalogue, and the science archive (XSA).

Interested persons are invited to fill in the registration form, available at:

Attendance is strictly limited to 20 persons to ensure proper support during the training sessions. The available places will be filled on a "first-register, first-served" basis.

The deadline for submission of applications is April 21, 2006.

Release of a new version of "EPIC status of calibration and data analysis" and "Status of XMM-Newton instruments cross-calibration with SASv6.5" Documents

Version 2.5 of the EPIC status of calibration and data analysis document has been released. This document reflects the improvements in the calibration with SAS6.5 and the newest CCFs. Major improvement has been achieved in the modelling of the EPIC redistribution that results in better agreement between the 3 EPIC cameras.

In addition a document has been released describing the status of the Cross-Calibration among all XMM-Newton instruments and also including examples of cross calibration of the XMM-Newton instruments with other X-ray missions.

Both documents are available from the XMM-Newton Calibration Portal at:

XMM-Newton AO-5 OTAC Results

The proposals accepted by the AO-5 Observing Time Allocation Committee (OTAC) are available with their associated abstracts at:

The Principal Investigators of accepted proposals have been informed about the second phase proposal submission via the XMM-Newton Remote Proposal Submission System (XRPS). The XRPS will be closed on the 17th of February 2006 at 13:00 UT.

AO-5 observations will start to be performed in May 2006.

Anticipated time line for next Announcement of Opportunity

The planned key milestones for the sixth XMM-Newton "Announcement of Opportunity" have been established. Within this AO-6 a new call to submit proposals for observations to be performed with the XMM-Newton observatory will be issued.

To be prepared for this, please find below the anticipated time line:

Announcement of Opportunity 28-Aug-2006
Due date for proposals 06 October 2006 (12:00 UT)
Final OTAC approved programme late December 2006

For approved proposals only:

Start of phase II proposal submission 15 January 2007
Closure of phase II proposal submission 09 February 2007
Start of AO6 observations May 2007

The official "Announcement of Opportunity" will be made public in the XMM-Newton News and on the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre Home Page.

Suzaku Conference Announcement

An international conference "The Extreme Universe in the Suzaku Era", is scheduled for December 4-8, 2006, at Kyoto, Japan.

An outline of the conference and further details are available at:

Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC