XMM-Newton-NEWS  #106,    28-Apr-2010

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 AO-9 long term plan

The scheduling of the ninth cycle of XMM-Newton observations, AO-9, will start in May 2010 and is expected to finish at the end of April 2011.

On the 28th of April, the long-term scheduling plan for the AO-9 period has been released at:


Principal Investigators of pending XMM-Newton observations are encouraged to check this plan, especially if scheduling constraints were granted following 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 final observing plan is only available some two to four weeks in advance of the start of an XMM-Newton revolution. It is intended to follow the long term plan as closely as possible. The XMM-Newton SOC nevertheless reserves the right to modify the plan at any stage of the scheduling process, should this become necessary.

XSA v6.5 release with access to the new 2XMMi-DR3 and XMMSL1 Delta-4 catalogues

A new version of the XMM-Newton Science Archive (XSAv6.5) is now available at:


It includes, among other, improvements in the search facilities and target classification with all the previously unclassified targets now being classified according to the HEASARC class ( http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/W3Browse/class_help.html ).

XSAv6.5 also allows users to access the incremental version of the Second XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue, 2XMMi-DR3, and the Delta-4 XMM-Newton Slew Survey source catalogue.

Incremental version of the Second XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue: 2XMMi-DR3

A new incremental version (2XMMi-DR3) of the second XMM-Newton EPIC Serendipitous Source Catalogue, 2XMM, is being released with XSAv6.5. It contains ~353000 detections of ~263000 unique sources from 4953 observations (i.e. 836 more observations than the predecessor 2XMMi catalogue) that were public by October 31st 2009. 2XMMi-DR3 covers a total sky area, with at least 1 ksec exposure, of ~814 square degrees, or ~504 square degrees if overlaps are taken into account. This represents an increase of approximately 19% in terms of unique sources compared with 2XMMi, released in August 2008. Of the total, 30470 detections are classified as extended, and spectra and time series have been extracted for 56017 detections, 3177 of which are considered to be variable. The positional uncertainty of the catalogue detections is generally < 5 arcseconds. Typical sensitivities in the catalogue are ~6x10E-15 and ~1.5x10E-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-DR3 catalogue is a joint venture carried out by the SSC consortium. Details of the catalogue, the catalogue files and full 2XMMi-DR3 documentation are available at:


FITS files containing summary information about the observations used in the catalogue and the targets of those observations will also be provided.

FITS and CSV versions of the full 2XMMi-DR3 catalogue and a slimline version of the FITS file are also available for download at https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/xmm-newton/xsa. The slimline 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-DR3 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

Incremental version of the XMM-Newton Slew Survey Catalogue: XMMSL1 Delta-4

An update to the XMM-Newton Slew Survey Catalogue (Delta-4) is now available. It can be accessed and searched with XSAv6.5, or downloaded as a FITS table from the XSA web page above.

The update contains data from 151 slew observations between revolutions 1673 and 1863. It covers 5725 square degrees, and contains 5514 new detections and 2185 new sources in the clean catalogue. The total sky coverage of the slew catalogue is now around 47%.

Documentation about the catalogue is available at:


Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC