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XMM Status Report #1

XMM Status Report #1
25 September 1998

Greetings Potential XMM User,
    The X-ray Multi-Mirror (XMM) Observatory is the second cornerstone 
mission in the European Space Agency's Horizon 2000 program, and is 
scheduled for launch 21 January 2000.  XMM will be an observatory-class 
X-ray facility for the first decade of the next century.
    The XMM payload consists of three large-area 7.5m focal length X-ray 
telescopes and a 30cm diameter optical/UV telescope (Optical/UV Monitor, 
OM), all of which will be in simultaneous operation.  The X-ray telescopes 
have CCD focal-plane detectors (European Photon Imaging Cameras, EPIC), 
which provide ~6" (FWHM) imaging and moderate spectral resolution over 
the 0.1-15 keV energy range.  Two of the telescopes are also equipped 
with reflection grating assemblies, which will provide high-resolution 
spectra through the Reflection Grating Spectrometer (RGS).  The OM has 
both broad-band imaging and grism spectroscopy capabilities.
    Together the effective area, energy resolution, and angular 
resolution of the X-ray telescopes far exceeds previous observatories, 
and will compliment the capabilities of AXAF.  When combined with the 
simultaneous optical/UV observations of the OM, XMM will prove to be 
an exceptionally powerful instrument for investigating the universe.
    XMM will have a Guest Observer (GO) program which will be open to  
participation by US astronomers.  In addition, funding for successful 
US GOs will be available through NASA.  To support US participation in 
the XMM GO program, NASA has organized an XMM Guest Observer Facility 
at the Goddard Space Flight Center.  AO-1 will be released 16 November
1998 with a due date of 31 March 1999.

With this e-mail status report, the NASA/GSFC XMM GOF is open for business.
Informational WWW pages with links to ESA program pages can be found at:
The GOF can be reached by e-mail at: 
For XMM questions there is an XMM help line at:

A note on the e-mail distribution list used for this status report.  The
list is a combination of the lists of several GOFs (e.g., ROSAT, ASCA, 
and XTE).  An effort was made to remove duplications but with over 1500 
entries, a complete success is unlikely.  So, if you received duplicate 
copies of this distribution, or if you want to be deleted (or added for
that matter) please e-mail xmmgof@athena.gsfc.nasa.gov with the subject
"mailing list".

Finally, the XMM SOC e-mail of 24 September 1998 announcing the release 
of the XMM Users' Handbook has been included below.

    Steve Snowden for the NASA/GSFC XMM GOF

> ------------------------------------------------------
> This is XMM-NEWS. Unsubscribe instructions at the end.
> Do you receive xmm-news messages more than once or
> at more than one address? Would you like to change
> this? Let us know at
>          xmmhelp@astro.estec.esa.nl
> ------------------------------------------------------
> Dear colleague,
> it is my pleasure to announce the release of the XMM Users' Handbook (UHB).
> This document is the primary source of information for astronomers planning
> to propose for XMM observations. The current version is issue 1.0, which is
> the release to support astronomers in responding to the first call for XMM
> proposals (AO-1), which will be issued on 1998 November 16.
> The XMM UHB can be accessed via our web site (or, alternatively, for ftp
> transfer, from our ftp site).
> Access via the WWW:
> -------------------
> http://astro.estec.esa.nl/XMM/                      our home page
> http://astro.estec.esa.nl/XMM/user/uhb_top.html     UHB introductory page
>                                                    - with links to HTML,
>                                                    PostScript and PDF
>                                                    versions of the UHB
>http://astro.estec.esa.nl/XMM/user/uhb/xmm_uhb.html HTML UHB
>ftp retrieval:
> ftp astro.estec.esa.nl
> anonymous
> <your email address>
> cd pub/XMM/documents
> bin
> get XMM_UHB.ps.gz (or XMM_UHB.pdf)
> Note: the UHB has been planned and designed as an online document. Using
> a printed copy (or postscript or pdf), readers will miss all the links
> leading to other services of the XMM web server (and external web servers).
> Missing items:
> --------------
> The final list of XMM guaranteed time targets will be added as soon as it
> has been endorsed by the OTAC. The calibration and performance verification
> targets lists will be added as soon as possible to the current release.
> Best regards,
> Fred Jansen
> XMM Project Scientist
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
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> Problems? Email xmmhelp@astro.estec.esa.nl .
> See us at http://astro.estec.esa.nl/XMM

Note: The PDF and compressed postscript versions of the handbook can be 
      downloaded from the NASA/GSFC GOF at: