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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #102: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #48

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_/            XMM-NEWTON NEWS #48   ---    23-Mar-2005            _/
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              XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
               ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre,
            P.O. Box - Apdo. 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain


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         - Anticipated time line for next Announcement of
         - EPIC MOS1 Event of Rev. 961
         - 5th ESAC SAS Workshop
         - XMM-Newton SOC Trainee Project

Anticipated time line for next Announcement of Opportunity

The planned key milestones for the fifth XMM-Newton "Announcement
of Opportunity" have been established. Within this AO5, a new call
to submit proposals for observations to be performed with the
XMM-Newton observatory will be issued.

To be prepared for this, please find below the anticipated time

Announcement of Opportunity                      05 September 2005
Due date for proposals                  14 October 2005 (12:00 UT)
Final OTAC approved programme                   early January 2006

For approved proposals only:
Start of phase II proposal submission             23 January  2006
Closure of phase II proposal submission           17 February 2006

Start of AO5 observations                                 May 2006

The official "Announcement of Opportunity" will be made public in
the XMM-Newton News and on the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre
Home Page.

EPIC MOS1 Event of Rev. 961

At about 01:30 hrs (UT) on 09 March, 2005, during XMM-Newton
revolution 961, an event was registered in the focal plane of the
EPIC MOS1 instrument. The characteristics of the event were
reminiscent of very similar, but less energetic events registered
in the MOS1 focal plane on September 17, 2001, the MOS2 focal plane
on August 12, 2002, and the pn focal plane on October 19, 2000,
which were attributed to micrometeoroid impacts scattering debris
into the focal plane. In each MOS case a bright flash of light
caused data buffer overflows for the CCDs across the whole focal
plane, and in all cases a number of new hot or defective pixels
were subsequently mapped and masked. The consequences of the recent
event appear to be more significant.

In the period immediately following the light flash it became
apparent that MOS1 CCD6 was no longer recording events, and that
all CCD6 pixels were, in effect, returning signal at the saturation
level. Standard recovery procedures were immediately applied, but
had no effect on the observed behaviour, raising the possibility
that CCD6 had sustained significant damage. Evidence of a limited
number of new hot pixels elsewhere in the MOS1 focal plane was also
recorded. These other effects are relatively minor.

At the time of writing this note, scientific observations are
continuing normally with XMM-Newton, including MOS1, but with CCD6
switched off. Intensive investigations are underway involving the
ESA Operations Team and the instrument PI team in an effort to
fully characterise changes in the instrument status.

While every effort will be made to minimise impacts of this event
on data flow and service to our users, Community colleagues will
understand that very careful and painstaking investigations now
need to continue until we fully understand the impacts of this
event for the instrument. Precise test operations will be carried
out, with prior validation in the laboratory on the spare
instrument chain. Any ripple-on effects throughout the system must
be carefully evaluated.

However, apart from the disabling of MOS1 CCD6 our baseline at this
time is to maintain normal data deliveries from XMM-Newton.

Observers are invited to monitor a dedicated web page, available at


for news about the progress of the investigations, and for advice
on any adaptations that might be needed in the data processing
chain to cope with a new status of MOS1 CCD6. That said, it is
anticipated that impacts on data reduction will be minimal, and
indeed that the scientific impacts, even if CCD6 cannot be
recovered, will be small.

5th ESAC SAS Workshop

The SOC announces the 5th Science Analysis System (SAS) Workshop,
which will be held at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre, ESAC,
close to Madrid, Spain, from

             Tuesday, June 7 to Friday, June 10, 2005.

SAS Workshops aim at providing astronomers, having little or no
experience of XMM-Newton data analysis, with an introduction to
the procedures and techniques to successfully reduce and analyze
XMM-Newton data.

About one-third of the Workshop time is devoted to presentations,
and the remaining two-thirds to practical training (hands-on)
sessions. During the latter, one workstation will be available for
every two participants. The lecture program covers topics such as:
instrument calibration status, SAS installation and set-up,
spectral analysis of point-like sources with EPIC and RGS, EPIC
source detection and timing analysis, analysis of extended sources
with EPIC, OM data reduction and analysis, the XMM-Newton
serendipitous source catalogue, and science archive.

Interested persons are invited to fill in the registration form,
available at:


Attendance is strictly limited to 20 persons, to ensure proper
support during the training sessions. The available places will be
filled on a "first-register, first-served" basis.

Deadline for submission of the applications is May 6, 2005.

XMM-Newton SOC Trainee Project

In 2004 five young scientists participated in a pilot trainee
programme taking place at the European Space Astronomy Centre
(ESAC) and contributing to the XMM-Newton project.

The trainees were from the University of Madrid (Spain), the
University of Bonn (Germany) and from the ESA Young Graduate
Trainee Programme.

The idea behind the project is to build up a group of 3-5 people
at different stages in their scientific or technical careers,
with membership rotating on timescales of three months to one
year, who contribute to the work of the XMM-Newton Team. Moreover,
all participants benefit from this work by developing new skills
and building up knowledge in a space science related environment.

Additionally, due to the cooperation of several universities in
the project, students have the possibility to build up networks
also outside of ESA, benefiting their future careers.

A Web page describing the XMM-Newton SOC Trainee Project is
available, offering further information, at


Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC
XMM-NEWS mailing list

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