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XMM-Newton Guest Observer Facility

XMM-Newton EPIC Response and Background File Page

The SOC page


The most recent Canned Response Matrices can be downloaded from the SOC or the GOF (the latest files are there, despite the 2013 "Last Modified" date.)

Please refer to the latest updates and carefully read the notes below before retrieving and using the files.

Canned response matrices

General Information

The PN canned response matrices are available for spectra selected from single-pixel events only, doubles only and single+doubles combined. Users should be warned to compare spectral fitting results with and without the double events, as the effects of pile-up can make the results a little variable.

These files have filenames of the form

camera epn
epoch e1 for 2000-02-01 to 2007-01-01; e2 for 2007-01-01 to 2014-01-01; e3 for 2014-01-01 to present
mode ff for full frame, ef for extended full frame, sw for small window, lw for large window, ti for timing, bu for burst
adu indicates the standard mode-dependent event threshold
pattern s for singles, d for doubles, sd for both
rows CCD physical row interval, provided at intervals of 20 rows; so Y0 = CCD lines 1-20, Y1 = CCD lines 21-40, ... Y9 = CCD lines 181-200
version version number (aligned with SAS version)

For example, the response file epn_e1_bu23_dY9_v18.0.rmf corresponds to the PN, from 2000-02-01 to 2007-01-01, burst mode, double-pattern only, CCD lines 181-200.

Although since SAS 6.5 no ready-made MOS response files are provided (see "Update 2005-12-15"), for the purposes of the feasibility study of XMM-Newton proposals, a limited set of MOS response files have been made available. These files have filenames of the form


camera m1 for MOS1 or m2 for MOS2
epoch e1 - e14
mode im for imaging, tu for timing
pattern p0 for pattern 0 only, or pall for patterns 0-12
position c for center of patch, w for wings of patch, o for off patch

The epochs cover the years

    e1 = 2000-02-01 to 2001-01-01
    e2 = 2001-01-01 to 2001-10-01
    e3 = 2001-10-01 to 2002-01-01
    e4 = 2002-01-01 to 2002-10-01
    e5 = 2002-10-01 to 2003-01-01
    e6 = 2003-01-01 to 2004-10-01
    e7 = 2004-10-01 to 2005-10-01
    e8 = 2005-10-01 to 2006-10-01
    e9 = 2006-10-01 to 2007-10-01
    e10 = 2007-10-01 to 2008-10-01
    e11 = 2008-10-01 to 2009-10-01
    e12 = 2009-10-01 to 2010-10-01
    e13 = 2010-10-01 to 2011-10-01
    e14 = 2011-10-01 to present

For information about patch positions, see "EPIC Status of Calibration and Data Analysis Document".

Pipeline Produced Matrices

The source spectra produced by the pipeline refer to a set of canned matrices (please refer to "Update 2006-02-16"). These matrices are the latest available at the time of the pipeline processing, and may be used for performing spectral analysis with the following caveat:
  • MOS spectra of sources which are within 1 arcminute of the boresight of the MOS cameras (normally the target of the observation) experience a redistribution which is highly dependent upon the exact position of the source and the size of the extraction region. An accurate analysis of such sources should use a redistribution matrix produced by the task rmfgen. Using a canned matrix in this case may introduce large errors below 1 keV (please refer to "Update 2005-12-15").

If you have any questions concerning XMM-Newton send e-mail to

This file was last modified on Wednesday, 21-Aug-2019 11:18:03 EDT
Curator:Michael Arida (ADNET);

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