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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #108: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #51

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_/            XMM-NEWTON NEWS #51   ---    05-Sep-2005            _/
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       XMM-Newton Announcement of Opportunity (AO-5)
       - Letter of invitation by the Director of the ESA Scientific
       - Appendix: Overview of Documentation

       Version 6.5.0 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released

XMM-Newton Announcement of Opportunity (AO-5)

Letter of invitation by the Director of the ESA Scientific Programme

Dear Colleague,

I am very pleased to invite you to respond to the fifth
"Announcement of Opportunity" to submit proposals for observations
to be performed with the XMM-Newton observatory.

XMM-Newton is the second cornerstone of ESA's Horizon 2000 Science
Programme. It was launched by an Ariane 5 launcher on the 10th of
December 1999 and offers astronomers a unique opportunity to
perform high throughput non-dispersive spectroscopic imaging in the
energy range from 0.3 keV to 12 keV (European Photon Imaging Camera;
EPIC) and medium resolution dispersive spectroscopy (Reflection
Grating Spectrometer; RGS) in the energy range from 0.4 keV to 2.2
keV. In addition it provides simultaneous optical/UV observations
with a co-aligned telescope (Optical Monitor; OM).

This Announcement solicits proposals to be carried out in the
period from May 2006 to May 2007. Proposers from all over the world
are welcome to participate. All proposals will be subject to
independent peer review by the XMM-Newton Observing Time Allocation
Committee (OTAC). Potential proposers are expected to prepare and
submit proposals in electronic form, by the deadline given below,
using the XMM-Newton Remote Proposal Submission (RPS) software.

The documentation for this Announcement is available via the
internet at:


The appendix to this announcement lists the relevant documents and
explains in detail how to access them. I would appreciate it if you
would distribute the attached information at your home institute.

The key milestones for this Announcement are:

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

I invite you to submit your proposals and wish you success in using
the XMM-Newton observatory.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. D. Southwood
ESA Scientific Programme

Appendix: Overview of Documentation

This appendix outlines the content of each of the documents
associated with X-ray Multi-mirror Mission's (XMM-Newton)
Announcement of Opportunity.

XMM-Newton Announcement of Opportunity: This letter from the
  Director of ESA's Scientific Programme is the formal Announcement
  of Opportunity to apply for XMM-Newton observing time.

XMM-Newton Announcement of Opportunity - Policies and Procedures:
  This is the "administrative" document of the Announcement,
  providing all necessary information about the policies adopted
  and the procedures to be followed.

XMM-Newton Users' Handbook: This gives a description of the
  satellite and its instruments, followed by detailed information
  on how to observe with XMM-Newton. For each of the three
  scientific instruments on board XMM-Newton (EPIC, RGS and OM)
  detailed information sufficient to calculate the necessary
  observing times is provided.

The documents listed above can be read (and downloaded) through the
World Wide Web on the XMM-Newton Public Server located at ESAC, at
the URL:


and can also be retrieved generally as postscript files from the
XMM-Newton/VILSPA ftp server. Proposers should use ftp to access
"xmm.vilspa.esa.es", then, log in as "anonymous" and give their
e-mail address as password. Type "cd pub/AO5" to go to the
directory containing the relevant files. The desired files can then
be copied by typing "get filename" after issuing the "binary"

Time line for Phase II proposal submission

After the cycle of proposal submission and selection, the
observation details for successful proposals must be entered
into the observatory system.  This is done during "Phase II"
proposal submission. Please find below for your information
the anticipated time line for that eventual Phase II:

Start of phase II proposal submission    23 January  2006
Closure of phase II proposal submission  17 February 2006

Version 6.5.0 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released

The XMM-Newton SAS team is pleased to announce the release of a
new version of the Science Analysis System: SAS 6.5.0

The main changes in this version with respect to the former
version, SAS 6.1, are:

* EPIC calibration upgrade, including the modelling of spatial and
  temporal effective area dependency for the MOS cameras. A much
  improved cross calibration between all EPIC cameras has been

* the introduction of the possibility of combining RGS spectra and
  response matrices, through the new tasks "rgscombine" and

* improved source detection, both for EPIC and OM, especially
  related to extended sources, and to the presence of straylight
  artifacts in the case of OM.

* upgrade of the metatasks for EPIC general data reduction "emproc"
  and "epproc".

For further details on obtaining SAS 6.5.0 please visit our SAS
pages available at

Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC

XMM-NEWS mailing list

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