Joint NICER/IXPE Workshop 2024

Workshop Overview and Logistics

The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) and Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) missions are pleased to announce a joint 2024 workshop. The workshop will be held at The George Washington University in Washington D.C from Monday, 29th of July, 2024 to Thursday, 1st of August, 2024. Registration is free for both in-person and remote attendees.

The first 3 days of the workshop will be held in hybrid format, and participants who cannot attend in person will be able to attend virtually. During this time there will be presentations on the missions status, latest calibration, and GO programs. There will also be invited and solicited science talks and poster presentations. The fourth day of the workshop is an in-person only hands-on session for data analysis, where NICER and IXPE experts will guide participants through the analysis of data from various source classes. Registration deadline for in-person attendance is July 1st, while for remote attendance is July 26th. We especially welcome users new to NICER/IXPE data analysis to attend the workshop.

The primary objective of the workshop is to introduce mission capabilites, discuss data analysis techniques and new science results that maximize use of the unique capabilities of both mission, as well as highlight synergies between them. The workshop will also update the community on opportunities to propose for time on both missions through the General Observer Program, and provide ample time for questions, discussion and networking. We anticipate that the program will provide a showcase for possible uses of NICER and IXPE for the community's scientific investigations.

Presentation topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Mission Overview
  • Calibration and Software Tools
  • Data Analysis and Tutorials
  • General Observer Program and Target of Opportunity Requests
  • Magnetars and Rotation-powered Pulsars
  • X-ray Binaries
  • Supernova Remnants, Pulsar Wind Nebulae, and other extended galactic sources
  • Blazars, Active Galaxies, and Quasars
  • Tidal Disruption Events, Quasi-periodic Eruptions, and Changing-look AGN
  • Multimessenger Astronomy
  • Galaxy Clusters and Extragalactic Extended Sources

For any questions related the workshop, please email the organizing committee

Mission Overview

NICER is a non-imaging X-ray telescope mounted onboard the International Space Station. It is sensitive to X-ray photons in the energy range 0.2-12 keV and boasts the largest effective area of any instrument up to 5 keV, a factor 2 larger than XMM-Newton. It provides timing accuracy as well as CCD-level spectral resolution. NICER's narrow field of view of about 30 arcmin^2, large effective area, and low background results in a high dynamic range of sensitivity. NICER can detect a 10 microCrab X-ray source at the 5-sigma level in a 10 ks exposure. Taking advantage of its host spacecraft orbit and its own agility, NICER can observe any non-sun-constrained target multiple times a day. Thus, NICER is the most versatile soft X-ray instrument in operation today capable of providing spectro-temporal data for a wide range of scientific investigations.

IXPE is a NASA Small Explorer Mission resulting from the collaboration of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, the Italian Space Agency, and other partners. IXPE has been successfully performing science operations since January 2022, with a General Observer program that started in 2024. IXPE provides unique and powerful X-ray polarization capabilities and has been providing crucial insights into our understanding of X-ray production and the geometry of multiple classes of objects such as neutron stars and pulsar wind nebulae, as well as stellar and supermassive black holes, among others. Overall, IXPE provides simultaneous imaging, spectral, timing, and polarization data for 2-8 keV X-rays.

The complementary aspects of NICER and IXPE are nicely demonstrated through the many simultaneous observing campaigns of different source classes; NICER provides the count statistics and soft spectral coverage throughout any IXPE observing run, to help disentangle the, sometimes time-varying, contribution from the different emission components, while IXPE provides their unique polarization properties. Hence, the combination of the two telescopes yields an unprecedented spectral-timing-polarization view of the cosmos.

Abstract Submission and Registration

Registration is open for everyone at the Registration Page. The meeting link will be sent via e-mail before the start of the meeting to all registered participants. Registration is free for both in-person and remote attendees.

Abstract submission is open for everyone at the Abstract Submission Page. We strongly encourage those with a contributed talk or poster presentation to attend the workshop in-person.


  • Sunday, June 2nd 2024: Abstract submission deadline for talks (extended!)
  • Monday, July 1st 2024: Abstract submission deadline for posters
  • Monday, July 1st 2024: Registration deadline for in person attendence
  • Friday, July 26th 2024: Registration deadline for virtual attendence
  • Invited Speakers

    Zaven Arzoumanian (NASA/GSFC) Keith Arnaud (NASA/GSFC & UMD)
    Michael Corcoran (NASA/GSFC & CUA) Steven Ehlert (NASA/MSFC)
    Craig Markwardt (NASA/GSFC) Phil Kaaret (NASA/MSFC)
    Elizabeth Ferrara (NASA/GSFC & UMD) Douglas Swartz (NASA/MSFC)
    Keith Gendreau (NASA/GSFC) Allyn Tennant (NASA/MSFC)
    Kavitha Arur (NASA/GSFC & UMBC) George Younes (NASA/GSFC & GWU)

    Meeting Program

    Please note that the program is subject to change. All times are in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

    Date Time Presenter Title
    Monday July 29
    Morning Session I
    9:00am - 10:30am
    9:00 - 9:30 Keith Gendreau The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer Mission: Status Updates
    9:30 - 10:00 Zaven Arzoumanian The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer Mission Operations
    10:00 - 10:30 Craig Markwardt NICER Calibration, Data Reduction and Cleaning
    Morning Session II
    11:00am - 12:30pm
    11:00 - 10:30 Craig Markwardt Pitfalls in NICER data analysis
    11:30 - 12:00 Craig Markwardt High level NICER data products
    12:00 - 12:30 Q&A and discussion
    Afternoon Session I
    2:00pm - 3:30pm
    2:00 - 2:30 Elizabeth Ferrara NICER General Observer Program
    2:30 - 3:00 George Younes NICER Proposal Feasibility
    3:00 - 3:15 Poster flash talks
    3:15 - 3:30 Geethu Prabakar Discovery of Relativistic Disk-Wind in X-ray Binary Systems for the first time: Wind-regulated accretion in 4U 1543-47
    Afternoon Session II
    4:00pm - 5:45pm
    4:00 - 4:15 Philipp Thalhammer The giant outburst of EXO 2030+375: Spectral and pulse profile evolution
    4:15 - 4:30 Alex van Kooten The Long-Term Spectral and Temporal Evolution of the Swift J1818.0-1607 Magnetar Outburst
    4:30 - 4:45 Joanna Berteaud Exploring the neutron star interior with Wafle
    4:45 - 5:00 Arianna C Albayati A NICER Understanding of how Type-I X-ray Bursts Interact with Accretion Disks
    5:00 - 5:15 Constantinos Kalapotharakos Revolutionizing the inference of mass, radius, and magnetic field structure of neutron stars using NICER and Fermi-LAT data
    5:15 - 5:30 Nazma Islam X-Rays from RS Ophiuchi's 2021 Eruption: Shocks In and Out of Ionization Equilibrium
    5:30 - 5:45 Zikun Lin Unraveling the hybrid origins of the X-ray non-thermal emission from IGR J17091-3624
    Tuesday July 30
    Morning Session I
    9:00am - 10:30am
    9:00 - 9:30 Phil Kaaret The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer Mission Overview
    9:30 - 10:00 Steven Ehlert Introduction to Polarization
    10:00 - 10:30 Douglas Swartz IXPE calibration and introduction to FTOOLs
    Morning Session II
    11:00am - 12:30pm
    11:00 - 10:30 Mason Ng Introduction to ixpeobssim for data analysis
    11:30 - 12:00 Niccolo' di Lalla Ixpeobssim for simulations
    12:00 - 12:30 Q&A and discussion
    Afternoon Session I
    2:00pm - 3:30pm
    2:00 - 2:30 Alessandro Di Marco Dealing with background in IXPE data analysis
    2:30 - 3:00 Allyn Tennant IXPE Mission Operations
    3:00 - 3:30 Kavitha Arur IXPE General Observer Program
    Afternoon Session II
    4:00pm - 5:30pm
    4:00 - 4:15 Brian Humensky ACROSS: Enabling Time Domain and Multi-Messenger Astrophysics
    4:15 - 4:30 Ed Nathan Polarised X-ray Reflection: Creating polarised XILLVER tables
    4:30 - 4:45 Rwitika Chatterjee Spectro-polarimetric study of GX 9+9 using IXPE and AstroSat
    4:45 - 5:00 Yash Bhargava X-ray Polarization in Neutron star Low mass X-ray Binary GX 340+0
    5:00 - 5:15 Sohee Chun Spectropolarimetric Studies of Truncated Disk-Hot Inner Flow Geometry for Hard State Black Hole X-Ray Binaries
    5:15 - 5:30 Lizhong Zhang Understanding the Supercritical Accretion onto the Strongly Magnetized Neutron Stars
    Wednesday July 31
    Morning Session I
    9:00am - 10:30am
    9:00 - 9:15 Yanan Wang Rapid Dimming Followed by a State Transition: A Study of the Highly Variable Nuclear Transient AT 2019avd over 1000+ Days
    9:15 - 9:30 Federico Adrian Fogantini Simultaneous NICER and NuSTAR observations of the ultraluminous source NGC 4190 ULX-1
    9:30 - 9:45 Nicole Ford Constraining the Accretion and Jet Properties of Next Gen. EHT Targets with NICER and NuSTAR
    9:45 - 10:00 Alessandro Di Marco First detection of X-ray polarization in the UCXB 4U 1820-30 with IXPE
    10:00 - 10:15 Fabio La Monaca IXPE Highly Significant Detection of Polarization in Scorpius X-1
    10:15 - 10:30 Aru Beri A holistic View of X-ray Binaries
    Morning Session II
    11:00am - 12:30pm
    11:00 - 10:30 Michael Corcoran Introduction to X-ray data
    11:30 - 12:00 Tess Jaffe Introduction to Sciserver
    12:00 - 12:30 Keith Arnaud Introduction to XSPEC
    Afternoon Session I
    2:00pm - 3:30pm
    2:00 - 2:30 Matteo Bachetti and Daniela Huppenkothen An introduction to X-ray timing using Stingray
    2:30 - 3:00 Megan DeCesar An introduction to pulsar timing with PINT
    3:00 - 3:30 Jack Steiner Synergies between Spectroscopy and Polarimetry using NICER and IXPE to Explore Accreting Stellar-Mass Black Holes
    Afternoon Session II
    4:00pm - 5:30pm
    4:00 - 4:15 Suchismito Chattopadhyay On the spectro-temporal difference in origin of the kHz QPO and noise component in 4U 1702-429 using AstroSat and NICER.
    4:15 - 4:30 Holger Stiele Evolution of QPOs and spectral properties during X-ray binary outburst
    4:30 - 4:45 Candela Bellavita The nature of an imaginary quasi-periodic oscillation in the soft-to-hard transition of MAXI J1820+070
    4:45 - 5:00 Kewal Anand Constraining the neutron star mass and moment of inertia from QPO triplets observed in 4U 1728-34
    5:00 - 5:15 Ole Konig Spectral-Timing Analysis of Swift J1727.8-1613 with NICER
    5:15 - 5:30 Shafqat Riaz Unveiling Systematic Uncertainties in X-ray Reflection Spectroscopy: Implications for Black Hole Spin Measurements
    Thursday August 1
    All day
    9:00am - 5:30pm
    9:00 - 5:30 Various instructors In person only: Hands-on data analysis tutorials using NICER and IXPE data

    Local Information

    Workshop Location:

    The meeting will take place at the Science and Engineering Hall on George Washington University's campus. The address is 800 22nd street NW, Washington, DC, 20052. It is a short 3 minute walk (0.1 miles) from the Foggy Bottom metro station or a 15 minute walk (0.7 miles) from the Farragut North Metro Station.

    Hotel Information:

    There is no designated conference hotel for this event. However, there are a number of hotel options in the area.

    Walkable to George Washington University:

  • ARC hotel
  • Hotel HIVE
  • State Plaza Hotel
  • Hotels within walking distance to a nearby metro station:

  • Sonesta Select Rosslyn (walking distance to Rosslyn metro, 1 stop away from Foggy Bottom)
  • Hilton Garden Inn Arlington Courthouse Plaza (walking distance to Courthouse metro, 2 stops away from Foggy Bottom)
  • Placemakr Dupont Circle (Walking distance to Dupont Metro, 1 stop from Farragut North, can also walk to GWU ~20 mins, 0.8 miles)
  • Transportation Information:

    If you are arriving by plane: If flying into Dulles (IAD) or Washington National (DCA) airports, you can take the metro to the Foggy bottom metro station. If flying into Baltimore airport (BWI) you can take the MARC train from BWI to Union Station. From there you can ride the metro to Farragut North or transfer at Metro Center and exit at the Foggy bottom station.

    If you are arriving by car, you can park at any of the GWU garages. The current rates are $24 for durations >2 hours. Parking is available at at:

  • Science and Engineering Hall Garage
  • University Student Center Garage
  • G Street Garage
  • Elliot School Garage
  • If you are arriving by Metro: Take the metro to either the Foggy Bottom metro station or the Farragut North Metro Station.

    Generally, Uber/Lift/Taxis are easy to get in and around DC, so this is also an option if you prefer.

    Organizing Committee

    The Organizing Committee consists of: George Younes, Kavitha Arur, Zaven Arzoumanian, Elizabeth Ferrara, Jeremy Hare, Yannis Liodakis, Michela Negro, Rachael Stewart and Douglas Swartz