XMM-Newton-NEWS  #151,    23-Jul-2013

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


XSA v8.0 release with access to the 3XMM (DR4) and full reprocessed data

A new, completely re-engineered version of the XMM-Newton Science Archive (XSA v8.0) has been released. Details are available at the XSA web page:


Additionally, XSA v8.0 also allows access to the third generation XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue 3XMM (DR4) and to the full uniform reprocessing of all XMM-Newton data up to December 2012, with homogeneous software and calibration.

Release of the new version of the XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue: 3XMM (DR4)

A new version of the XMM-Newton EPIC Serendipitous Source Catalogue, 3XMM, is now released. The catalogue is based on a complete reprocessing of the XMM-Newton data using an enhanced processing pipeline which includes a wide range of improvements. The 3XMM catalogue thus supersedes the previous 2XMMi-DR3 release.

The 3XMM catalogue contains ~531000 detections of ~373000 unique sources from 7427 observations that were public by 31st December 2012. 3XMM covers a total sky area, with at least 1 ks exposure, of ~1400 square degrees, or ~800 square degrees if overlaps are taken into account. This represents an increase of approximately 50% in terms of unique sources compared with 2XMMi-DR3, released in April 2010. Around 10% of the detections are classified as extended, and spectra and time series have been extracted for around 45% of the sources. The positional uncertainty of the catalogue detections is generally less than 3 arcseconds (90% confidence) and the astrometric quality of 3XMM is improved with respect to previous releases. Typical sensitivities in the catalogue are ~6x10E-15 and ~1.5x10E-14 erg/cm2/s in the soft (0.2-2 keV) and hard (2-12 keV) X-ray band, respectively.

The creation of the 3XMM catalogue is a joint venture carried out by the SSC Consortium. Details of the catalogue, the catalogue files and full 3XMM documentation are available at


FITS files containing summary information about the observations used in the catalogue will also be provided. FITS and CSV versions of the full 3XMM catalogue and a slimline version of the FITS file are also available for download at


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, 3XMM 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

Release of full pipeline-reprocessed XMM-Newton data

The XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre (SSC) has undertaken, during 2012, a full reprocessing of all XMM-Newton observations. The 3XMM source catalogue has been constructed from public observations during this reprocessing. This is the second such bulk reprocessing exercise, the first one undertaken during 2006/2007. The complete reprocessing in 2012 used an enhanced processing pipeline and has generated an homogeneous set of pipeline products for all the instruments and all the observations performed by XMM-Newton until the end of 2012.

This large and uniformly processed set of data products is now accessible through the newly released XSA v8.0.

XSA v8.0

The XMM-Newton Science Archive has been fully re-engineered for faster and more efficient searches of XMM-Newton data. The data can now be searched and downloaded using a web-based interface:


or can be accessed via command line scripts using the Archive Interoperability system (AIO), which requires to download new AIO client files from


Please note that links to the Postcard server have to be replaced by a direct link to the ObsID web page, e.g.


XSA v7.2 to be discontinued in a few months

The XSA v7.2 java interface and the old AIO client files will still be usable for a few months to allow a smooth transition to the new system.

Astronomers are strongly encouraged to change to the new XSA v8.0 and AIO because XSA v7.2 is frozen with no access to new data, to the 3XMM catalogue, or to the full reprocessed pipeline products. Proprietary rights in XSA v7.2 are also frozen since 8 July 2013.

Please note that in order to access the new XMM-Newton data through the AIO users need to download the new AIO client files, as explained in the previous news item.

Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC