XMM-Newton-NEWS  #73,    15-Feb-2008

XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre,
P.O. Box - Apdo. 78, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, 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


Anticipated time line for next Announcement of Opportunity

The planned key milestones for the eighth XMM-Newton "Announcement of Opportunity" have been established. Within this AO-8 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   26 August 2008
 Due date for proposals   10 October 2008 (12:00 UT)
 Final OTAC approved programme   late December 2008

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

8th XMM-Newton SAS Workshop

The XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre announces the 8th SAS Workshop, which will be held at the European Space Astronomy Centre of ESA (Villafranca del Castillo, Spain) between the 24th and the 27th of June 2008.

SAS Workshops aim at providing XMM-Newton users with a basic introduction to the procedures and techniques to successfully reduce and analyse XMM-Newton data. The 4-day workshop is organised around 4 half-days of presentations and 4 half-days of practical training sessions. They cover all aspects of data reduction and data analysis for all the X-ray cameras on-board XMM-Newton, as well as for its Optical Monitor.

Interested persons are encouraged to send an email to xmmhelp@sciops.esa.int.

Specify in the subject line:
Subject: Interest in participating in the 8th XMM-Newton SAS Workshop
and providing the following information:
Name                   :
Organisation           :
Address                :
Country                :
Phone                  :
Fax                    :
E-mail                 :
No fee is required to attend the Workshop. We regret to inform that no financial support is available for Workshop participants.

Readers may find more information at the following URL:


Version 7.1.2 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released

The last major version of SAS (7.1.0) was released in July 2007. Since then two general patches affecting a number of SAS tasks have been distributed. These patches correct some deficiencies and a patched SAS release has been assigned the version number 7.1.2 for clarity.

The number of tasks being patched simultaneously has led to a somewhat difficult situation which leaves the user subject to error during the installation process. To limit the likelihood of errors occurring during installation, we have simplified the entire intallation process, by providing a single downloadable file for each supported operating system.

The downloaded file contains a shell script ("install.sh") that locally installs all SAS release components, including available patches.

For further, and more detailed instruction, please visit the SAS web portal:


Finally, some good news for MacIntel users: the SAS 7.1.2 binaries, originally built for Mac OS X on a PowerPC, have been successfully tested on Mac OS X Intel machines. The SAS team thanks the Apple Rosetta translator software. A complete description on how to install SAS on Mac Os X Intel machines is available on the SAS web portal.

Cross calibration document updated

Version 5.0 of the XMM-Newton cross-calibration document has been released. This document reflects the status of the cross-calibration among all XMM-Newton instruments using SAS7.1.0 and the newest Calibration Files (CCFs). The document is available from the XMM-Newton Calibration Portal at:


Calibration Review Tool

The Calibration Review Tool provides an overview of the XMM-Newton internal cross-calibration and the cross-calibration with XMM-Newton and Chandra for different calibration versions (SAS+CCF). Joint and individual fits to spectra obtained from various observations are available for comparison. Histograms showing the flux estimation from all the XMM-Newton X-ray instruments for a number of sources and in different energy bands are presented as well.

The Calibration Review Tool is available from the XMM-Newton cross calibration page:


XMM-Newton Conference "The X-ray Universe 2008"

Registration and abstract submission open

As announced in issue #71 of the XMM-Newton Newsletter, the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre is organising a major astrophysical symposium from Tuesday 27th to Friday 30th May 2008 in Granada, Spain.

The symposium will be a successor to the "The X-ray Universe 2005" meeting held in 2005 near Madrid and its main focus will be on high energy astrophysics. It will provide a showcase for results and discoveries not only from XMM-Newton, Chandra and Suzaku but also from other current missions. The scientific potential of future projects like XEUS will be discussed at the conference.

The deadline for abstract submission is 7 March 2008.

More information can be found at:


Please alert us to significant XMM-Newton results

The XMM-Newton team does not have dedicated resources to systematically monitor astro-ph and the published literature for exciting new results. Therefore we rely on our observers to alert us about interesting new material. ESA does have a team of public affairs officers who will help arrange appropriate publicity, but they can only go to work once they know a result is available. Please remember that the public strongly supports astronomy in part because they enjoy seeing the fruit of our work!

Please contact us through the helpdesk:


Announcement of 37th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Symposium E15

The COSPAR organisation is pleased to announce the Symposium E15 of the 37th COSPAR Scientific Assembly on:

"Probing Strong Gravity and Dense Matter with X-rays"

to be held on July 13-20th 2008 in Montreal, Canada.

A 4 half-day session will be organised during the COSPAR Scientific Assembly to review the recent breakthroughs in strong gravity and dense matter achieved with X-ray data from operating satellites (e.g. RXTE, XMM-Newton, Chandra, Suzaku), and discuss innovative ideas for follow-up instruments beyond existing ones.

The deadline for abstract submission is 17 February 2008.

More information is available at:


Announcement of workshop: XEUS: Physics of the Hot Evolving Universe

ESA is pleased to announce the workshop:

"XEUS - Physics of the Hot Evolving Universe workshop"

which will be held on March 5-6th 2008 in ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

XEUS is the potential successor to XMM-Newton and is under study by ESA, following selection as part of the Cosmic Vision process. The science drivers for XEUS include the evolution of large-scale structure, co-evolution of galaxies and their super-massive black holes, matter under extreme conditions and observatory science. The workshop is part of the preparations for the start of the study activities and will help interested scientists to contribute to the mission definition, and interested partner agencies identify those areas where they would like to contribute. All parties interested in the science and technology related to XEUS are encouraged to participate. There is no registration fee.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 February 2008 but registrations will continue to be accepted after this date.

More information is available at:


Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC