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1. Introduction

The purpose of this ABC Guide to XMM-Newton data analysis is to provide a simple walk-through of basic data extraction and analysis tasks. Also included is a guide to references and help available to aid in the analysis of the data. We have tried to balance providing enough information to give the user a useful introduction to a variety of analysis tasks with not providing too much information, which would make a guide like this too ponderous to use. As such, there is no intention to replace the SAS Handbook, which should be considered the highest authority for the use of SAS. Therefore this document will not display the full versatility of the SAS tasks, and of SAS itself, but it will hopefully show a path through the forest.

Chapter 2 provides lists of web-based references for the XMM-Newton project, help desks, analysis guides, and science and calibration data. Chapter 3 provides a description of the data files provided for observation data sets. Chapter 4 discusses the installation and use of SAS. The rest of the chapters discuss the analysis of EPIC, RGS, and OM data respectively, taking the detector mode and SAS interface (command line or GUI) into account. We also include brief introductions to analysis of the reduced data with XSPEC and Xronos.

This document will continue to evolve. Updated versions will be made available on our web site at:


This guide would not have been possible without the help and comments from all people involved in the XMM-Newton project. In particular, we would like to thank Giuseppe Vacanti and Julian Osborne whose comments made this a more complete and accurate document.

IMH wishes to thank all the OM calibration team and in particular Antonio Talavera, Matteo Guainazzi and Bing Chen for their help in the preparation of this and other documents related to the OM.

SLS wishes to thank Dave Lumb, Richard Saxton, and Steve Sembay for their helpful insights into EPIC data analysis.

next up previous contents
Next: 2. Useful Information and Up: XMM ABC Guide Previous: List of Tables   Contents
Lynne Valencic 2023-06-29