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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #120: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #58

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_/            XMM-NEWTON NEWS #58   ---    10-July-2006           _/
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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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      - Version 7.0.0 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released
      - Cross Calibration Page
      - New XMM-Newton Optical Monitor Spectral Response Files
        (Response Matrices)
      - XMM-Newton SOC URL change

Version 7.0.0 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 7.0.0

The main changes introduced in this version with respect to
the former version, SAS 6.5.0, are:

- upgraded EPIC MOS calibration, including column dependent
  CTI/Gain correction, improving line widths by up to ~15%.
- improved EPIC source detection and parameterisation tasks,
  especially related to the detection of extended sources.
  Robustness and efficiency have been increased to make possible
  the 2XMM Catalogue derivation which is in final preparation at
  the time of this release.
- inclusion of PSF correction for EPIC timing and burst modes in
  response matrix generation.
- support for arbitrary uniform binning of MOS and PN spectra.

- introduction of a time/spectral dependent RGS effective area
  correction, which in particular accounts for a decrease with time
  of the long-wavelength sensitivity. The cross-calibration of RGS
  with the EPIC cameras has been considerably improved.
- flagging/discarding of RGS columns showing large Charge Transfer
  Inefficiency has been implemented, including the introduction of
  new calibration files in the system, improving small scale
- the background calibration files have been restructured to allow
  the modelling of the background for spectra extracted with
  different selection criteria. Background models can now be
  generated for spectra extracted both with the new, recommended
  region selection in PI (95%) and with the previous default
  value (90%).

- processing of full frame high resolution data with omichain is
  now more robust. Some errors due to inconsistencies in the header
  of the raw images have been solved.
- the structure of the final combined source list has been changed.
  All photometric results (count rate, magnitude, color index,
  flux, etc.) are given now in single columns for each source and
  filter instead of parameter arrays per source.
- fast mode: the time dependent sensitivity degradation correction,
  implemented for image mode in SAS 6.5.0 is now also available in
  fast mode.
- OM grism data processing: a series of small changes mainly
  related to improvements in the identification and extraction of
  the spectra and the interpretability of the data. To be
  consistent with these changes it has been necessary to modify
  the flux calibration of the UV grism. Users of SAS 7.0.0 grism
  data reduction must use the new OM_GRISMCAL_0004.CCF.
- For the first time, the grism processing chain includes the
  astrometry task omatt so that the sources of all extracted
  spectra (multi-object spectroscopy) are assigned astronomical
  coordinates. Users should be aware that this facility is still in
  a preliminary state and therefore the coordinates obtained may
  still have large errors (up to one arcmin). Note that grism
  astrometry requires OM_ASTROMET_0012.CCF.

All other changes were either bug fixing or better handling of
calibration algorithms.


Please notice that new calibration constituent files are needed for
the improvement achieved by the EPIC MOS CTI correction as well as
by the RGS "cool" pixels determination and temporally-dependent
effective area calculation.

The list of new CCFs follows:
- EMOS[1-2]_CTI_00[30-42].CCF containing the column dependent CTI
  correction factors for 13 different epochs. Please note that at
  the time of the SAS 7.0.0 release the calibration files are still
  in preparation. They will be released 2-3 weeks later. In the
  meantime, using the current CCF elements, SAS 7.0.0 will
  calculate the CTI without the column-dependent correction, as for
  SAS 6.5.0.
- RGS[1-2]_COOLPIX_0001.CCF contain the lists of large CTI columns,
  which can be discarded by applying the new rgsbadpix (and rgsproc)
  parameter "keepcool=no".
- RGS[1-2]_EFFAREACORR_0003.CCF with the effective area values of 5
  different epochs, used for interpolation.
- RGS[1-2]_TEMPLATEBCKGND_0003.CCF containing the different
  template backgrounds for different selection criteria.
- OM_GRISMCAL_0004.CCF, which has to be used by the grism data
  processing as implemented in SAS 7.0.0.

For further details on obtaining SAS 7.0.0 please visit our SAS
pages available at


Cross Calibration Page

A new cross-calibration web page has been made available at:


This page gives a summary of the cross-calibration status, both
among the XMM-Newton instruments and with reference to other
observatories. A report based on SAS 6.5.0 is available and will be
updated on a regular basis. In addition, the web page will give some
examples illustrating the very latest cross-calibration situation
(currently for SAS 7.0.0) in order to provide the user with
information on new important cross-calibration results between
releases of the cross-calibration document.

New XMM-Newton Optical Monitor Spectral Response Files
(Response Matrices)

Early in 2005 a set of OM spectral response matrices was released.
They gave a single-point conversion from filter count rate to flux,
assuming that the OM filter transmission was flat and neglecting
colour corrections.

Although the spectral dependency is very small we have produced new
response files that take into account the real shape of the OM
filters. In addition response matrices for the two OM grisms have
been constructed, one in the visible range and another in the UV.

The complete set, as well as a concise description and
guidelines for use, can be obtained from:


These response files will allow users to make a combined spectral
fitting of XMM-Newton Optical Monitor and X-ray data using
packages such as XSPEC.

XMM-Newton SOC URL change

The updating of the ESAC URL has been completed and all web page
addresses of the XMM-Newton SOC now start with

Please update your links and bookmarks accordingly.

In addition, all e-mail messages issued by the XMM-Newton SOC
now end with "@sciops.esa.int".

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

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