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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #135: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #67

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_/            XMM-NEWTON NEWS #67   ---    13-Jul-2007            _/
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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 7.1.0 of the Science Analysis System (SAS)
          - Workshop on-line proceedings available now	
          - Users Group: presentations and minutes of meeting
          - Change in the RGS2 CCD readout mode	
          - The 'images' script: a tool to create attractive
            EPIC images
          - Revision of the Extended Source Analysis Software


Version 7.1.0 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released

The XMM-Newton SAS team is very pleased to announce the release of
a new version of the SAS: SAS 7.1.0

Binaries for diverse flavours of Linux, Solaris and MacOs are
available, a virtual machine running on Microsoft Windows allowing
to run SAS 7.1.0 will follow shortly.

The main changes in this version with respect to the former
version, SAS 7.0.0, are:

- general upgrade of EPIC source detection routines, as performed
  for the extraction of the 2XMM sources catalogue,
- new task "espfilt" for soft proton and flare screening,
- EPIC pn temperature dependent gain correction introduced, to cope
  with the correlation of the pn gain with the temperature of the
  quadrant box electronics,
- pn FIFO reset correction implemented: to correct effective
  exposure time after resets, happening when saturation of
  detectors on chip amplifier stage causes a FIFO overflow,
- introduction of master offset tables for enabling correction of
  spatial energy shifts by pn
- the package lccorr has been momentarily removed from the public
  distribution, due to deficiencies. These will be corrected in the
  near future and the task will be again available.

- new task "rgslccorr" for light curve background subtraction and
  exposure correction
- new task "rgsfluxmodel" for exporting RGS flux spectrum as model
  to be used eg. by Xspec
- "rgscombine" and "rgssuperrmf" able to use also background from
- recognition and proper handling of data taken in single readout
  node sub-mode

- OM grisms data processing has been improved in the following
  . improved astrometry: RA & Dec for the zero orders is more
  . possible shifts in the wavelength scale have been reduced
  . better detection of the spectrum in field spectroscopy mode and
    better handling when spectra are close together
  . fainter spectra are now extracted
  . new method in the interactive 'omgsource'
- new task, "omphotom" for interactive photometry.
  It can be used in image and fast modes and is particularly
  adapted for crowded fields in both modes. It complements the
  existing omsource.

Please notice that a new calibration constituent file is needed for
the improvement achieved by the correction of spatial energy shifts
for EPIC pn: EPN_REJECT_0004.CCF

For further details on obtaining SAS 7.1.0 please visit our SAS
pages available at:


Workshop on-line proceedings available now

Pdf presentations, posters and conference photos of the Science
Workshop "XMM-Newton: The Next Decade" that took place at ESAC
on 4th. to 6th. of June 2007 are available on the web now at:


Users Group: presentations and minutes of meeting

The XMM-Newton Users Group met on the 7th. and 8th. of June 2007
at ESAC. Please find the agenda, presentations and minutes of this
meeting at:


Change in the RGS2 CCD readout mode

Following a period during which we have monitored occasional
instability in one redundant Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC)
chain of RGS2, starting on 17th. of August 2007 the readout for
the scientific RGS2 exposures will be changed to use only the
stable chain. The implications for the RGS2 exposures are as

- Practical impacts for the system and for the user should be
minimal. The CCD readout time will be doubled with impacts on the
probability for pile-up for the brightest sources. Although the
details depend on the spectral properties of the target and whether
bright emission lines are expected, as a guideline pile-up problems
should not occur for total RGS2 count rates below 30 c/s.

- The SOC expects the RGS2 calibration to be re-established (in
particular with regard to the charge transfer inefficiency (CTI))
around the time data affected by this change become available in
the XMM-Newton archive (XSA). In case there is a short interval
before updated calibration files become public astronomers are
advised not to use RGS2 data taken after 17th. of August 2007 until
the release of the new calibration files has been announced. Once
the new calibration files have been released the change will be
transparent to the SAS.

- All of the above only affects RGS2, i.e. does *not* affect RGS1
in any way.

The 'images' script: a tool to create attractive EPIC images

The 'images' script is a shell script designed to reduce and
combine data from the XMM-Newton pn and MOS cameras to produce
attractive X-ray images in several user-defined energy bands. In
order to use this script the Science Analysis Software (SAS) must
be correctly installed and the SAS environment set.

The script performs several corrections to the EPIC data including:

    * filtering for periods of high background
    * removal of bad pixels and columns
    * spatial smoothing
    * exposure correction
    * merging of pn and MOS data

Within the script package is full documentation including a guide
to using the final products of 'images' to make false-colour images.

The script and further details are available from

Revision of the Extended Source Analysis Software (XMM-ESAS)

The EPIC Background Working Group announces the release of an
extensive revision of the XMM-ESAS code and scripts.

As advertised in XMM-Newton-NEWS #56, XMM-ESAS provides a set of
tools to help in the analysis and interpretation of the background
for extended sources. Currently the software works for the MOS
detectors only.

Among other upgrades, XMM-ESAS now includes soft proton modeling
and mosaicking software for image processing. The users manual has
been updated, the example scripts have been edited, and the test
cases have been reprocessed.

Note that because of the many upgrades, the calling parameters for
some scripts and programs have changed. In these cases, the tasks
are not backwards compatible.

The XMM-ESAS package is available from the SOC at:

and from the NASA Guest Observer Facility (GOF) at:

Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC

XMM-NEWS mailing list

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