XMM-Newton-NEWS  #95,    17-Jul-2009

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


XMM-Newton Users Handbook update for AO-9

The XMM-Newton Users Handbook (UHB) has been updated to version 2.7 in preparation for the next Announcement of Opportunity (AO-9) and reflecting latest in-flight experience.

The AO-9 will open on the 25th of August 2009 with a due date for proposals on the 9th of October 2009 (12:00 UT) (for further details, see XMM-Newton Newsletter #87).

The UHB contains information on the instrumentation on board XMM-Newton and serves as the main technical support document for proposal preparation, based on which potential XMM-Newton users can assess the technical feasibility of their planned observations.

The XMM-Newton Users Handbook is available on-line at:


Alternatively, postscript and PDF versions of the UHB can be downloaded from the "XMM-Newton Proposer's Info and Manuals" portal at:


XMM-Newton Science Workshop: "Ultra-Luminous X-ray sources and Middle Weight Black Holes"

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

"Ultra-Luminous X-ray sources and Middle Weight Black Holes"

24th - 26th of May 2010

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

The aim of the workshop is to explore the physical nature of Ultra-Luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) and their connection to intermediate mass black holes (IMBHs). Theorists and observers from the cosmology, X-ray, stellar dynamics, and AGN communities will be invited to explore topics of common interest, review new and recent results, and discuss the impact of upcoming observatories and space missions for black hole research.

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.

Upper Limit tool for the XMM-Newton Slew Survey observations available

As announced in issue #94 of the XMM-Newton Newsletter, a web-based upper limit server for the Slew Survey data has been developed at the XMM-Newton SOC.

The Upper Limit Server (ULS) is designed to first check whether a slew path crossed a given position with EPIC-pn exposures being taken. If so the ULS returns the maximum count rate and flux at the queried position, for each slew covering that position.

The ULS tool, as well as its Users Guide are now available at:


XMM-Newton Users Group: Minutes of Meeting available

The XMM-Newton Users Group met on the 6th and 7th of May 2009 at ESAC. The minutes were approved on the 9th of July and are now available at:


As announced in issue #91 of the XMM-Newton Newsletter, the presentations are available at the same page.

Conference Announcement: "High-resolution X-ray Spectroscopy: past, present and future"

SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research and Utrecht University are pleased to announce the conference:

"High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy: past, present and future"

to be held in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on 2010 March 15-17.

Since the launch of XMM-Newton and Chandra ten years ago, high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy has proven to be a very powerful tool in astrophysics. It offers unique diagnostics to study almost any object in the Universe. The grating spectrometers aboard XMM-Newton and Chandra still continue to provide excellent data, while imaging calorimeters are being prepared for future missions like ASTRO-H and IXO. The synergy with other wavelength bands like the UV will be boosted by the addition of COS to HST. In this meeting, highlights and the state-of-the-art of X-ray spectroscopy for a broad range of objects and on the prospects for future studies will be presented.

More information about the conference is available at:


Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC