XMM-Newton-NEWS  #144,    18-Dec-2012

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 timeline for next XMM-Newton Announcement of Opportunity: AO-13

The planned key milestones for the thirteenth XMM-Newton "Announcement of Opportunity" have been established. Within this AO-13 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 timeline:

  Announcement of Opportunity 27 August 2013
  Due date for Proposals 11 October 2013 (12:00 UT)
  Final OTAC approved programme       mid December 2013

For approved proposals only:

  Start of phase II proposal submission08 January 2014
  Closure of phase II proposal submission       31 January 2014
  Start of AO-13 observationsMay 2014

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

13th XMM-Newton SAS Workshop

The XMM-Newton SOC announces the 13th SAS Workshop, which will be held at the European Space Astronomy Centre of ESA, Madrid, Spain, between the 10th and the 14th of June 2013.

SAS Workshops aim at providing XMM users with a basic introduction to the procedures and techniques to successfully reduce and analyse XMM-Newton data. The 5-day workshop is organised around 5 half-days of presentations and 5 half-days of practical training sessions. The sessions cover all aspects of data reduction and data analysis for all the X-ray cameras and the Optical Monitor on-board XMM-Newton.

More details will be given in a future XMM-Newton Newsletter. In the meantime, mark your calendars!

EPIC MOS1 Event of Revolution 2382

At about 06:51 hrs (UT) on 11 December 2012, during XMM-Newton revolution 2382, an event was registered in the focal plane of the EPIC MOS1 instrument. The characteristics of the event were reminiscent of a similar event registered in the MOS1 focal plane on 9 March 2005. In both cases a bright flash of light caused data buffer overflows for the CCDs across the whole focal plane. The main consequence of the event in 2005 was significant damage on MOS1 CCD6, which was switched off shortly afterwards. In addition a number of new hot or defective pixels were subsequently mapped and masked. The consequences of the recent event appear to be of similar impact, with the main result being MOS1 CCD3, another peripheral detector, being significantly damaged this time. A number of new hot pixels and columns have also developed on other detectors. The impact on the central CCD is considered negligible at the time of writing this note.

Scientific observations are continuing normally with XMM-Newton, including MOS1, but now without data from CCD3, or from CCD6 as a result of the 2005 event. Impacts on data reduction will be minimal.

Intensive investigations are underway involving the ESA Operations Team and the instrument PI team in an effort to fully characterise potential changes in the instrument status.

It is anticipated that the science impact, even if CCD3 cannot be recovered, will be small. CCD3 is one out of the six original peripheral CCDs of MOS1. It covers, to a first order approximation, slightly less than 1/7 (or 14%) of the geometrical area of MOS1. MOS1, in turn, only contains some 22% of the total effective area of the EPIC instrument with MOS1, MOS2 and pn operating simultaneously. Therefore, the impact of the loss of CCD3 would be zero for on-axis point sources and extended sources with radius smaller than 5.5 arcmin. For sources falling on CCD3 or for the extended emission of on-axis sources at distances larger than 5.5 arcmin, there is a 22% decrease in effective area (or 12% decrease in signal-to-noise ratio) over 14% of the field.

In summary, the combined impact of the two events of March 2005 and December 2012 remains zero for on-axis point sources. It results in a 12% reduction of the signal-to-noise in about 28% of the off-axis field of view, for point-like or extended emission at radial distances larger than 5.5 arcmin.

Please refer to the following Web page


for more details.

Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC