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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #070: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #32
_/ XMM-NEWTON NEWS #32 --- 07-Apr-2003 _/
ESA, XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
Villafranca del Castillo, Satellite Tracking Station
P.O. Box - Apdo. 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain
SOC Home Page:
Helpdesk web interface:
Helpdesk email address:
News Mailing List:
- XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue released
- XSA Version 2.0
- Scientific justification of AO-3 proposals
- Calibration Status documents updated
- Analysing post cooling data
- XMM-Newton ToO observation of XTE J1807-294
XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue released
We are pleased to announce the release of the first XMM-Newton Serendipitous
Source Catalogue: 1XMM.
1XMM is the first comprehensive catalogue of serendipitous X-ray sources
from the European Space Agency's (ESA) XMM-Newton observatory, and has been
constructed by the XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre (SSC) on behalf of ESA.
Most (> 80%) of the entries have not previously been reported as X-ray
sources. This catalogue is expected to become a significant astronomical
resource, as it is the largest catalogue of X-ray sources derived from
observations with CCD energy resolution over the full 0.2-12 keV energy band.
The catalogue contains source detections drawn from 585 XMM-Newton EPIC
observations made between 2000 March 1 and 2002 May 5; all datasets were
publicly available by 2003 January 31 but not all public observations are
included in this catalogue. Net exposure times in these observations range
from < 1000 up to ~100000 seconds. The total area of the catalogue fields
is ~90 deg^2, but taking account of the substantial overlaps between
observations, the net sky area covered independently is ~50 deg^2. The
observations sample, albeit sparsely, most of the sky, with the exception
of a 'hole' centred in the Cygnus region caused by spacecraft observing
The catalogue has been made by reprocessing suitable EPIC data with the
most recent software and calibrations available. The processing system
used was based on the SSC routine processing pipeline used to produce data
products for the observers and the archive, and new versions of the EPIC
products (including event lists) are available in association with the
catalogue. Considerable effort has been expended to 'calibrate' the
catalogue in terms of understanding such issues as errors, biases,
sensitivity and sky coverage. Extensive documentation describes the
catalogue production, qualities and content.
The catalogue source detection and parametrisation technique is optimised
for point-like sources, and has been performed across several
photon-energy bands and using data from each of the three EPIC cameras -
PN, MOS1, MOS2.
The catalogue content includes the source-detection parameters
(likelihood, position coordinates, counts, count rate, flux, hardness
ratio, background estimates, errors ...); the results of cross-correlation
with a large number of archival catalogues (SIMBAD, NED, USNO, GSC, APM,
ROSAT ...); quality 'flags' resulting from visual screening, and
'metadata' relating to the observation.
The catalogue contains 33026 X-ray source detections with likelihood
values >8 and summary quality flag >0, together with a further 23685
detections with lower likelihood values and/or summary quality flag=0.
These latter sources have lower reliability, since those with quality
flag=0 are deemed to be false detections due to processing deficiencies,
whilst at likelihoods below 8 the fraction of spurious sources expected on
a statistical basis increases rapidly.
The median flux (in the total photon energy band 0.2-12 keV) of the
catalogue sources is ~3e-14 erg cm^-2 s^-1; ~12% have fluxes below
1e-14 erg cm^-2 s^-1.
The positional accuracy of the catalogue sources is generally ~0.5-2
arcsec (68% confidence radius) for detections with likelihood >8. The flux
estimates from the three EPIC cameras are overall in agreement to ~2% for
on-axis sources, and ~6% off-axis.
In association with the catalogue itself, various data products are also
available (images, exposure maps, sensitivity maps, extracts from archival
catalogues and databases ...).
The catalogue is available in several forms and from several servers:
- the XSA, at ESA's XMM-Newton SOC
- the XCAT-DB, at the SSC institute, OA Strasbourg
- LEDAS, at the SSC institute, University of Leicester
- the SSC Home Page, at the SSC institute, University of Leicester
XSA, XCAT-DB and LEDAS provide a Web-based user interface allowing
filtering and searching of the catalogue, and links to associated data
products. The SSC Home Page, XSA and Vizier allow download of the catalogue
file in (binary) FITS. The SSC Home Page also provides a plain ASCII-text
Access to the catalogue will also very soon be provided by Vizier
XSA Version 2.0
Version 2.0 of the XMM-Newton Science Archive (XSA) is now available.
You may access the user interface at the URL:
Potential XSA users may refer to the following URL for a brief introduction
to the XSA usage and functionalities:
The main improvements in this version can be summarized as follows:
1. access to the XMM-Newton source catalogue. This implies an extensive
querying facility on a wide range of observation- and source related
parameters, together with source catalogue parameter display,
visualization of finding charts and source images, and retrieval of the
corresponding XMM-Newton datasets (ODFs and/or PPS products)
2. first public version of the Archive InterOperability system (AIO). This
system allows XMM-Newton users to have direct access to the content of
the XSA database without invoking the XSA user interface applet: ODF
and/or PPS files for a given observation as well as individual PPS
products or customized sets of individual PPS products can be retrieved
either via a server socket (run either through a user defined client or
an XML file), or through a URL address. Users interested in using this
system are encouraged to contact the XMM-Newton HelpDesk.
3. sorting of the query results according to: distance to the nominal
pointing, observation start time, observation ID, proprietary right
expire date, or total source counts
4. direct access to a wide range of XMM-Newton related documents from the
user interface applet
5. possibility of combining exposure constraints according to AND or OR logic
6. new Frequently Asked Question page, containing practical recipes on how
to accomplish specific search and data retrieval tasks. It is available
at the URL:
7. access to proposal abstracts from the XSA user interface, under the menu
"Details" of each observation catalogue record.
Scientific justification of AO-3 proposals
The requirements of the scientific justification of AO-3 proposals
are described in the "Policies and Procedures for the XMM-Newton AO-3",
page 15, see URL:
In summary they are:
size limit: 10 MByte
page limit: 4 pages
font size: greater/equal 10 pt
It is allowed to submit scientific justifications in colour postscript.
The proposals gets shipped to the review panels on CD's. Consequently,
individual panel members may print these in b/w only.
A LaTex template to write the scientific justification is provided at:
Calibration Status documents updated
The XMM-Newton calibration scientists and instrument teams have updated the
documents describing the current status of the EPIC, RGS and OM calibration.
These are available again from the XMM-Newton Calibration Portal under the
heading 'What is the current status of the calibration?', see
Analysing post cooling data
The cooling of RGS2 was the first step of the RGS and EPIC MOS cooling
campaign. It took place in the night November 3-4 2002 during XMM-Newton
revolution 532. The two EPIC MOS instruments were cooled in the night
of November 6-7 2002 and finally the RGS1 CCD bench was cooled in the night
November 13-14 2002 during revolution 538 (see XMM-NEWTON NEWS#27).
As the cooling resulted in major reductions in hot pixels and hot columns,
and reduction by some factors in charge-transfer inefficiency (CTI), the
user analysing post cooling data must make use of the XMM-Newton
Science Analysis System (SAS) version 5.4 onwards. Only this SAS version
takes into account the changed calibration of RGS and MOS post cooling data.
XMM-Newton ToO observation of XTE J1807-294
Information on the XMM-Newton target of opportunity (ToO) observation of
the millisecond X-rays pulsar XTE J1807-294 discovered by XTE on February
21, 2003 are available at the following URL:
On this page you find preliminary data processing results like images
and spectra together with info on the availability of related data sets
(ODF and PPS products).
XMM-NEWS mailing list
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