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XMM-Newton Guest Observer Facility


The AO-24 Call For Science Proposals Is Not Yet Open.


20 August 2024 Release of AO-24 Announcement
11 October 2024, 12:00 UT Deadline for AO-24 Submissions
mid December 2024 Results of AO-24 Announced
8 January 2025 Start of SOC phase II proposal submission (entering of observation details through the SOC)
31 January 2025 Closure of SOC phase II
May 2025 Start of AO-24 Observations
June 2025 Notification to eligible US GOs of possible funding opportunity through the GOF

AO-24 Science Proposal Information:

SOC AO-24 home page

XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #270 - AO-24 Announcement ASCII
ESA AO-24 "Dear Colleague" Letter from Dr. G. Hasinger PDF
ESA Policies and Procedures for the XMM-Newton AO-24 SOC PDF
XMM-Newton Observation Visibility Checker and Search Tool
Check if a target has been observed or is awaiting observation by XMM-Newton, or if it is possible to observe.
XMM-Newton Visibility Map
Check a sky map to determine the visibility of a target.
SOC Online
Pending Anticipated Targets of Opportunity (ToOs)
Find accepted anticipated ToOs and the AOs during which they are valid.
SOC Online
XMM-Newton Users' Handbook (UHB) v2.21 GOF Online, GOF PDF SOC Online, SOC PDF
XMM-Newton SOC XIPS SOC Online
XMM-Newton SOC Latex Template (highly recommended, and note that all sections included in the template must fit within the page limitations) TEX
XMM-Newton Proposers' Generic Help SOC Online, or the GSFC GOF:

AO-24 Science Proposal Submission

Proposals must be electronically submitted directly to the XMM-Newton SOC through the SOC's XIPS facility. NOTE: This is a different system from the SOC's RPS system which was used in the past for XMM-Newton budget proposals. Proposers are urged to make a ESA-Cosmos account if they do not already have one, and familiarize themselves with the new interface well before the AO closes on 11 October. Successful PIs will also need to use the SOC's XIPS to submit observation details for their accepted targets at a later date (Phase II proposal submissions).

Please Note

The XMM-Newton SOC highly recommends the use of:

  • the on-line documentation because it contains updated links to references in the text
  • the Scientific Justification LaTeX template LaTeX Template

For GOs with dual appointments between US and foreign institutions and foreign GOs moving to the US:

  • if you intend to apply for support through the GOF, use your US affiliation and your US e-mail address for your science proposal.
  • if this is not possible (e.g., your appointment to a US institution has not started) notify the GOF at as soon as possible but no later than 31 March 2025 with your details.

Using the LaTeX Template File

Use of the provided LaTeX template LaTeX template to write the scientific justification is highly recommended. Proposers may submit their justifications either in one or two column format. Instructions to activate a specific column format are provided in the LaTeX template.

Proposal justifications MUST be submitted as one file in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF file can be generated from the LaTeX template in one of two ways:
  1. Use a LaTeX installation which allows you to create PDF files directly from the .tex file (e.g. pdflatex). Some installations of pdflatex do not allow you to include postscript figures. In this case you might use method 2.

  2. Use ps2pdf (preferably version 1.4) to convert a postscript file to PDF:
    > latex file.tex
    > dvips -Ppdf -G0 -o file.dvi
    > ps2pdf14 file.pdf
Please take note of the following points regarding the use of the LaTeX template provided:
  • Users must make sure that generated pdf output from the template is complete both when displayed with a viewer (acroread) and when printed on paper. LaTeX installations vary greatly and therefore it might not be possible to get all proposals to come out correctly with a single text page layout. In some cases the user will have to adjust the \topmargin=-7mm command in the template to vertically center the text.
  • The page limit for a standard proposal is 4 pages. This includes everything your to-be-submitted proposal justification, including Sections 4 and 5 (on previous work and publications). The page limits for other proposal classes are:
    • 8 pages for Multi-Year Heritage Programs
    • 5 pages for Large Programs
    • 2 pages for Fulfil Programs
  • You are free to include color images in your proposal justification. Proposals are distributed to OTAC in electronic form. However, the scientific content of the images should still remain extractable when displayed or printed in black and white only.
  • The proposal justification can be created both in single and in two-column format. Instructions on how to switch between these two layouts are given in the LaTeX template.
  • The font size (11pt) is mandatory.

All questions regarding XMM-Newton proposal submission should be directed to the XMM-Newton Helpdesk.

AO Science Proposal and Planning Tools

FLIX - FLIX scans the public data products used to make the 3XMM DR7 catalogue. For positions of interest it estimates the likely upper-limit to detectable flux. It also estimates the actual flux at that position from the counts in a small circle and the estimated background level. FLIX produces a FITS binary table of all results, and HTML output for selected energy bands.

PIMMS and WebPIMMS - The WebPIMMS package, which is already familiar to many X-ray astronomers has been updated to include the X-ray instruments of XMM-Newton observatory. It provides a convenient method for calculating the expected coarse count rates and pile-up effects for sources with a variety of spectra. WebPIMMS calculates the count rates directly from input spectral parameters as well as by converting from source count rates observed by other X-ray observatories (with spectral form and absorption also as inputs). PIMMS and WebPIMMS have been updated to use in-orbit calibration results consistent with the current SAS V 21 Interested users can get the EPIC camera's RMFs and ARFs that are used for simulations in PIMMS and WebPIMMS here.

Xspec - Xspec is a spectral analysis package for X-ray astronomy. Besides fitting observed and model spectra, it can also be used to simulate spectra.

Sherpa - Sherpa is the CXC's spectral analysis software, which is part of their CIAO package. While ostensibly built for Chandra data, it works perfectly well with XMM data and response files, too. Like Xspec, it can be used to fit and simulate spectra.

SIXTE - SIXTE is a software package developed at Remeis Observatory (ECAP) which performs simulations for X-ray telescopes. The setup for XMM is included in the package, and the webpage provides a helpful example of simulating EPIC-PN (full frame) data.

WebSpec - WebSpec provides spectral simulations of XMM-Newton EPIC (and other X-ray observatory instruments) observations. WebSpec is based on the Xspec package.

Response Files - Information on canned intrument response files can be found at the SOC Calibration Area. EPIC RMFs are available from the SOC and GOF (MOS and PN). The GOF MOS files are in the subdirectories 15eV and 5eV , according to their energy resolution. Information on the use of the files can be found at the SOC. Response files are available for the RGS from the SOC and GOF. Response files are available for the OM from the SOC and GOF.

Browse - Browse provides access to the XMM-Newton target and observation database.

Coordinate Conversion - The HEASARC tool Coco provides a simple tool for converting between coordinate systems.

X-ray Background Intensities - The HEASARC X-ray Background Tool provides ROSAT All-Sky Survey cosmic X-ray background intensities.

NH - The HEASARC tool nH provides neutral hydrogen column densities.

Help Desks

The XMM-Newton Helpdesk at the SOC provides a web-based tool to send technical queries to mission specialists and programmers, and also search the Helpdesk archive.

Mail the XMM-Newton US GOF directly at for all other XMM-Newton questions.

Download the Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Reader.

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