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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #029: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #3
_/ XMM-NEWTON NEWS #3 --- 13-Mar-2001 _/
ESA, XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
Villafranca del Castillo, Satellite Tracking Station
P.O. Box - Apdo. 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain
SOC Home Page: http://xmm.vilspa.esa.es/
Helpdesk web interface: http://xmm.vilspa.esa.es/xmmhelp
Helpdesk email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
News Mailing List: http://xmm.vilspa.esa.es/mailman/listinfo/xmm-news
- Status and Scheduling of XMM-Newton Observations
- Naming conventions for sources found by individual researchers
Status and Scheduling of XMM-Newton Observations
Over the last half year the XMM-Newton Science Operation Centre (SOC) has
published a number of pages on the Worldwide Web in order to provide
information on the status and scheduling of XMM-Newton proposals.
The XMM-Newton users community should check these pages if they wish to find
out more about the advanced planning of revolutions. It is also possible to
inquire about already performed observations. In addition, the SOC is
maintaining a list of activities performed during recent XMM-Newton
- Advanced Planning:
The XMM-Newton Advanced Plan covers a period of three months, split in
units of four revolutions (i.e. 8 days). It is built upon the most
"critical target(s)" in each revolution. Most of the observations included
in the plan therefore fall into one of the following classes:
* highly constrained targets, with short visibility window
* observations coordinated with other observatories
* fixed time observations
The fraction of guaranteed time versus guest observer time is based on the
principle agreement with the ESA Science Programme Committee (SPC) at the
time of approval of the XMM-Newton mission (1988). The actual implemented
profile is somewhat different because of initial observing efficiency being
on the low side. The final profile as now agreed and implemented was
endorsed by ESA's director of science at a review in VILSPA on 13-Feb-2001.
The XMM-Newton Advanced Plan for the next three months is available at
Principal investigators of accepted proposals are invited to periodically
check the list. They should immediately contact the SOC
(email: email@example.com) in case of problems.
Currently more than 90% of the observations are executed within four
revolutions from what is originally specified in the advanced plan.
- Scheduled Observations:
The SOC has prepared an XMM-Newton Observation Search Page which allows
the users to perform a search for scheduled observations. An observation
enters this search page immediately after it has been scheduled, normally
2 - 3 weeks in advance of execution.
Nevertheless, no guarantee can be given that a listed observation is
actually performed. It can happen that a revolution needs to be re-scheduled
on short notice, e.g. to perform a target of opportunity observation.
Similarly, severe solar storms and support to other spacecraft or ground
problems may prevent the execution of a scheduled observation.
The search can be based on a proposal/observation ID or on a revolution
number. Additional and more sophisticated search tools as well as detailed
info on the success of a scheduled observation will be offered by future
updates of this page.
The Observation Search Page (in its prototype version) is available at
Information about the scheduling of a specific proposal will be sent to the
Principal Investigator of an XMM-Newton proposal via an automatic email
notification system from mid March, 2001 onwards.
- Latest Spacecraft News:
The SOC is also maintaining a list of main spacecraft activities as a
function of time. This list gives general information about the executed
observations (e.g. observation type, coordination with other instruments).
It also informs about solar flares, eclipses and other events affecting
The XMM Spacecraft's Status list is available at
Naming conventions for sources found by individual researchers
The XMM-Newton Observatory will produce serendipitous catalogues of typically
10's of X-ray sources and additional Optical/UV targets for each and every
observation. While the eventual comprehensive catalogues will be produced by
pipeline processing of data by the XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre, the
following designation for informal identification in individual fields is
If you are referring to detected sources in XMM-Newton fields you should
follow the naming convention XMMUJ HHMMSS.s+/-DDMMSS
e.g. source position: RA 03 10 15.1, Dec -76 51 31.2 (J2000)
recommended acronym: XMMUJ 031015.1-765131
source position: RA 17 23 48.7, Dec +82 17 33.8 (J2000)
recommended acronym: XMMUJ 172348.7+821733
With best regards,
The XMM-Newton User Support Group
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