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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #100: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #46

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_/            XMM-NEWTON NEWS #46   ---    01-Feb-2005            _/
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              XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
               ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre,
            P.O. Box - Apdo. 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain


SOC Home Page:
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         - XMM-Newton Optical Monitor Spectral Response Files
           (Response Matrices)
         - Version 4 of the Science Simulator (SciSim) released
         - Madrid (ESAC) Symposium "The X-ray Universe 2005":
           further details
         - Conference announcement: IAU Symposium No. 230

XMM-Newton Optical Monitor Spectral Response Files
(Response Matrices)

To aid the combined spectral fitting of XMM-Newton Optical Monitor
(OM) and X-ray data, OM spectral response matrices have been

These response files are available for downloading from a dedicated
XMM-Newton web-site at:
which also provides details of their usage.

The files give a single-point conversion from filter count rate to
flux and are compatible with spectral fitting programs such as
XSPEC. Although, in general, the conversion would be subject to a
color correction dependent on the source spectrum, the OM filter
transmission is sufficiently flat that these spectral effects are
small compared with the global error quoted for the conversion.

Version 4 of the Science Simulator (SciSim) released

Version 4.0.4 of SciSim, the XMM-Newton Science Simulator for the
generation of realistic simulated science data for a wide range of
observational scenarios, has been integrated in January 2005.

The main aim of this release is to make SciSim more accessible to
non-experts. At the same time it should make it possible to perform
the sequence of activities: Simulation > Data-Conversion-into-ODF >
Data-Analysis-with-SAS in a simple and standardised way, and
should allow calibration experts to re-assess the reliability of
the different elements of XMM-Newton simulations.

The changes with respect to the former version are the following:

* the graphical main interface has been changed, incorporating the
  slightly different fields of view of the XMM-Newton telescopes
  and adding the geometry of the EPIC camera chips;

* several bugs were fixed, especially in the GUI area and in the
  instruments' geometry;

* RedHat Enterprise Linux and SuSe 8.2 versions have been added to,
  the list of distributed binaries, and Tru64 (Digital Unix) has
  been taken out.

The work on SciSim has been complemented with an upgrade of the
SAS task odffix, which makes possible the ingestion of
SciSim-generated ODFs into the SAS. Also, a release of all
calibration files to be used in the reduction, through the SAS,
of SciSim generated data, is coordinated with this release.

In addition to the natural documentation upgrade reflecting the
changes with respect to the former SciSim version, new
documentation for guiding the user especially through the analysis
of SciSim data has been generated for each of the instruments, and
can be found on the SciSim web pages

While systematic studies by the XMM-Newton SOC calibration teams
should follow this release in order to revise strengths, accuracies
and short-comings of SciSim, a first attempt to summarize this is
given in a technical note included on the web pages.

Madrid (ESAC) Symposium "The X-ray Universe 2005": further details

As announced on 28-Oct-2004, the XMM-Newton Science Operations
Centre is organizing a major astrophysical symposium from Monday
26th to Friday 30th September 2005 in San Lorenzo de El Escorial,
a scenic Spanish town located some 50 kilometers northwest of
Madrid in the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range.
The town has a beautiful historic centre which is a declared
Artistic Historical Monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The main focus of the meeting will be on high energy astrophysics.

A dedicated conference web page is available at


which is also accessible through the XMM-Newton SOC web pages at


The 2nd conference announcement will be distributed at the end
of March 2005 and will inform prospective participants about
the registration process, abstract submission, booking of
accommodation, etc.

Please make sure that you and your colleagues that are interested
in this symposium are subscribed to the XMM-Newton Newsletter
e-mail distribution list to receive the 2nd announcement, see


Conference announcement: IAU Symposium No. 230

IAU Symposium No. 230 on "Populations of High-Energy Sources in
Galaxies" will be held 15-19 August 2005 in Dublin, Ireland.

The primary objectives for this symposium are:
* Overview of key source categories in our Galaxy (X-ray and
  gamma-ray, the latter notably referring to INTEGRAL results)
* Review of the results on individual high-energy sources in
  galaxies that have been obtained with Chandra and XMM-Newton
* Derivation of global descriptions of high-energy source
  populations in galaxies
* Assessment of the evolutionary status of stellar populations,
  derived from the X-ray investigations
* Discussion of the high-redshift context of the source populations

Latest information is available via


Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC
XMM-NEWS mailing list

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