XMM-Newton-NEWS  #80,    21-Aug-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


Now available: XSA (v5.0) with 2XMMi and OM catalogues

A new version of the XMM-Newton Science Archive (XSAv5.0) is now available (https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/xmm-newton/xsa), including some improvements and allowing users to access the incremental XMM-Newton EPIC Serendipitous Source Catalogue (2XMMi) and the XMM-Newton OM Serendipitous Ultra-violet Source Survey (SUSS).


An incremental version (2XMMi) of the second XMM-Newton EPIC Serendipitous Source Catalogue, 2XMM, is being released with XSAv5.0. It contains ~289,000 detections (of ~221,000 unique sources) from 4,117 observations (i.e. 626 more observations than the original 2XMM catalogue) that were public by May 1st 2008, and cover a total sky area, with at least 1ks exposure, of ~660 square degrees or ~420 square degrees if overlaps are taken into account. This represents an increase of approximately 20% in terms of unique sources compared with 2XMM, released in August 2007. Of the total, 24,533 detections are classified as extended, and spectra and time series have been extracted for 44,621 detections, 2,608 of which are considered to be variable. The positional uncertainty of the catalogue detections is generally < 5 arcseconds. Typical sensitivities in the 2XMM catalogue are ~6x10^{-15} and ~1.5x10^{-14} (ergs/cm2/s) in the soft (0.2-2 keV) and hard (2-12 keV) X-ray band, respectively. The creation of the 2XMMi catalogue is a joint venture carried out by the SSC consortium. Details of the catalogue and full 2XMMi documentation is available at:


The downloadable 2XMMi fits file is an 'added value' version of the 2XMMi catalogue, having two extra extensions, which provide summary information about each observation used in the catalogue and details of the target of each observation (useful to users who want to exclude targets from their survey analysis). Details of the contents of these extensions are available in the 2XMMi documentation.

A slimline version of the 2XMMi fits file is also available for download at https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/xmm-newton/xsa. This version has only one row per unique source (rather than per detection as in the main catalogue) and a reduced number of columns that essentially pertain to the unique source quantities.

Alongside the XSA user interface, 2XMMi will become also available through:

     XCATDB: http://amwdb.u-strasbg.fr
     LEDAS: http://www.ledas.ac.uk
     HEASARC: http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/W3Browse/xmm-newton/xmmssc.html


The XMM-OM Serendipitous Ultra-violet Source Survey (SUSS) is a catalogue of UV sources detected serendipitously by the Optical Monitor (OM) on-board the XMM-Newton observatory. It has been created at the University College London's (UCL's) Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) on behalf of ESA and is a partner resource to the 2XMM serendipitous X-ray source catalogue.

The catalogue contains source detections drawn from 2,417 XMM-Newton OM observations in up to three broad band UV filters made between February 24th 2000 and March 29th 2007. Taking into account substantial overlaps between observations, the net sky area covered independently is 29-54 deg2, depending on UV filter. The primary content of the catalogue is filter-dependent source positions and magnitudes, and these are accompanied by profile diagnostics and variability statistics.
The XMM-OM SUSS catalogue contains 753,578 UV source detections above a signal-to-noise threshold limit of 3-sigma which relate to 624,049 unique objects. A significant fraction of sources (12% - UVW2, 11% - UVM2, 11% - UVW1) were visited more than once during XMM-Newton operation, and a large fraction of sources (38% - UVW2, 23% - UVM2, 22% - UVW1) were observed more than once per filter during an individual visit.

The positional accuracy of the catalogue detections is typically 1.0 arcsec (1-sigma confidence radius) with a median positional error of 0.67 arcsec. The median AB magnitude of the catalogue detections in the three UV bands is 19.56 (UVW2), 20.23 (UVM2) and 20.69 (UVW1). 20% of sources have AB magnitudes fainter than 20.28 (UVW2), 20.97 (UVM2) and 21.54 (UVW1).

The processing used to generate the catalogue is based on the SAS 8.0 Science Analysis Software developed for the pipeline reduction of all XMM-Newton observations.

The XMM-OM SUSS catalogue documentation is available at:


The catalogue can be accessed through the XSA interface or downloaded as a fits file from https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/xmm-newton/xsa.

Release of a new version of "EPIC status of calibration and data analysis" document

Version 2.7 of the EPIC status of calibration and data analysis document has been released. This document reflects the improvements in the EPIC calibration with SAS version 8.0.0 and the newest CCFs. The document is available from the XMM-Newton Calibration Portal at


Users Group: minutes of meeting available

The XMM-Newton Users Group met on the 6th and 7th of May 2008 at ESAC. The minutes were approved on the 18th of July and put on the web. Please find these minutes at:


where all presentations are also available.

Science Workshop: Supersoft X-ray Sources - New Developments

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

Supersoft X-ray Sources - New Developments
18th - 20th of May 2009
XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at ESA's
European Space Astronomy Centre, Madrid, Spain

The aim of the workshop is to summarise the present status of supersoft X-ray sources (SSS) research from the observational as well as the theoretical side in order to identify the most critical unsolved problems.

Further information is available at:


Details on the registration and abstract submission process as well as on important dates will be posted on that page and announced in a future XMM-Newton Newsletter.

Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC