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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #208: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #118

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_/           XMM-NEWTON NEWS #118    ---    24-Jan-2011           _/
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             XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
              ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre,
P.O. Box - Apdo. 78, 28691 Villanueva de la Canada, Madrid, Spain


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- Cross Calibration Status document update
- Release of new EPIC-pn long-term CTI
- Release of RGS/EPIC-pn Rectification Factors
- Anticipated timeline for next XMM-Newton Announcement of
   Opportunity: AO-11
- New XMM-Newton SOC Web page
- Workshop Announcement: "XXL: The Ultimate XMM Extragalactic Survey"

Cross Calibration Status document update

The  cross-calibration among  the  XMM-Newton instruments  as well  as
between  XMM-Newton and  other  missions is  regularly monitored.   An
update of  the document describing its status,  aligned with SASv10.0,
is now available at:


Users are also recommended to make use of the Cross-Calibration review


which  provides  an  interactive  interface  to  the  multi-instrument
analysis  of  more  than  100  calibration observations,  as  well  as
allowing  to  generate  on  the  fly  histograms  and  time-series  of
cross-normalisation  factors  among   the  XMM-Newton  instruments  in
different energy bands.

Release of new EPIC-pn long-term CTI

A  new  EPIC-pn Charge  Transfer  Inefficiency  (CTI) CCF  constituent
(EPN_CTI_0023.CCF)  is  now available.   The  accuracy  of the  energy
reconstruction,  especially  for observations  taken  in  the last  ~2
years, is  significantly improved with  this update.  The  accuracy of
the energy reconstruction for  all EPIC-pn imaging modes has recovered
the nominal ~10 eV across the whole mission.

To  make use  of this  enhanced  calibration, users  need to  generate
calibrated  event lists  using a  Calibration Index  File  (CIF) which
includes  the new CCF  constituent. Users  that are  synchronising the
calibration data  through "rsync" or "mirror"  have already downloaded
the new CCF  when it was released  on 23 Dec 2010 and  hence CIF files
generated after  that date contain the update.  Alternatively, the new
CCF can be downloaded from the SOC repository.

More information  on the expected  scientific quality can be  found in
the CCF Release Note:


Release of RGS/EPIC-pn Rectification Factors

As  announced with the  SASv10.0  release notes,  this version  of SAS
included an  upgrade of  the the RGS  effective area  determination to
apply  a correction  for alignment  of RGS  and EPIC  effective areas,
should  this  be  necessary.   The  spectral  correction  factors  are
contained in a new extension of  the calibration files and were set to
unity at that time.

A systematic investigation of the simultaneous response of EPIC-pn and
RGS done with SASv10.0  and the current relevant calibration files has
shown both  instruments to agree within  a slowly wavelength-dependent
few percent.   A simple model-fitting procedure was  applied to derive
an empirical set of wavelength-dependent rectification factors applied
to RGS only.

A tabulation of smoothed mean RGS-pn rectification factors is given in
the    RECTIFICATION    extension    of    the    calibration    files
RGS[12]_EFFAREACORR_0008.CCF. They can be  applied to the RGS response
matrices through the SAS  switch 'withrectification=yes' to modify the
methods of  the tasks  rgsrmfgen and rgsproc.   This switch is  off by

More details are given in the CCF Release Note:


Anticipated timeline for next XMM-Newton Announcement of Opportunity: AO-11

The planned  key milestones for the  eleventh XMM-Newton "Announcement
of Opportunity" have been established. Within this AO-11 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     23 August 2011
Due date for proposals          07 October 2011 (12:00 UT)
Final OTAC approved programme   mid December 2011

For approved proposals only:

Start of phase II proposal submission     10 January 2012
Closure of phase II proposal submission   03 February 2012
Start of AO-11 observations               May 2012

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

New XMM-Newton SOC Web Page

The layout of the XMM-Newton SOC Web Page


has changed.  While the  content remains the  same, the access  to the
different sections has  been made more user friendly  through the menu
on the  left-hand side of the  page.

Workshop Announcement:
XXL: The Ultimate XMM Extragalactic Survey

In December 2010, the XXL  survey, an XMM-Newton Very Large Programme,
has been granted time to map  two extragalactic regions of 25 deg2, at
a depth  of ~5E-15  erg/cm2/s (using 10  ks observations).   While the
main goal of  the project is to constrain the  Dark Energy equation of
state using clusters of galaxies (cf. http://arxiv.org/abs/1009.3182),
it will  also have lasting legacy  value for cluster  scaling laws and
studies of AGNs and XRB.

The project  is open to  any scientist belonging to  the international
astronomical community, and interested in actively contributing to the
general legacy effort.

A  kick-off  meeting is  organised  by  the  XMM-LSS collaboration  in
Bonifacio (Corsica, France) from the 2nd to the 6th of May 2011.

Workshop topics include:

* X-ray observations and processing
* Follow-up observations
* Multi-wavelength catalogues
* Science (clusters, AGN, galaxies, XRB, theory, etc.)
* Work organisation and legacy issues

Interested  scientists  are  welcome  to  attend  the  meeting.   More
information is available at:


Yours sincerely,

XMM-Newton SOC

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