XMM-Newton-NEWS  #65,    27-Apr-2007

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 long-term scheduling plan

The scheduling of the sixth XMM-Newton observing cycle observations, AO6, will start in May 2007 and is expected to end by May 2008.

On April 16, a long-term scheduling plan for the AO6 period has been released at:

Principal Investigators of pending XMM-Newton observations are encouraged to check this plan. Especially if observations with scheduling constraints were approved in the Time Allocation Committee recommendations. All observers should be aware that, as flexibility is required in the scheduling process, the long term plan only fills about 50% of the available observing time, using some 50% of the approved observations. Consequently about 50% of the approved observations do not appear in the long term plan. The full observing plan is only available some two to four weeks in advance of the start of a revolution. It is intended to follow the long term plan as closely as possible. The XMM-Newton SOC nevertheless reserves the right to modify it at any stage of the scheduling process, should this become necessary.

BiRD: a Browsing Interface for XMM-Newton RGS Data

BiRD is an utility for the browsing and visualisation of XMM-Newton RGS fluxed spectra. The interface allows to select spectra through different parameters, such as, for example date of observation, type of object, or quality, and provides some basic visualisation tools, both for the RGS spectra and spectral images, as well as for the simultaneous EPIC-pn images.

BiRD is available at the following URL:

Questions and comments about this utility can be sent to

Temporary Website Shutdown

The XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre website will be unavailable starting Friday May 18th and possibly for the whole of the weekend (May 19th and 20th) due to a scheduled firewall migration process. All services will be unavailable, including Target of Opportunity Alert, Helpdesk, the XMM-Newton Science Archive etc. Normal operations will be restored as soon as possible. We regret any inconvenience caused by this unavoidable maintenance activity.

Note: During the above period, if you can see the website http://xmm.esac.esa.int/ then it is likely that the maintenance has been completed ahead of schedule and that the site is fully operational.

Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC