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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #136: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #68

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_/            XMM-NEWTON NEWS #68   ---    24-Aug-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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          - Please alert us to significant XMM-Newton results
          - XMM-Newton Users' Handbook update for AO-7
          - SAS 7.1.0 release: problems found and solved
          - Now available: XSA (v4.0) with newly reprocessed data
            and 2XMM catalogue
          - Release of a new version of "EPIC status of calibration
            and data analysis" document

Please alert us to significant XMM-Newton results

The XMM-Newton team does not have dedicated resources to
systematically monitor astro-ph and the published literature for
exciting new results. Therefore we rely on our observers to alert
us to interesting new material. ESA does have a team of public
affairs officers who will help arrange appropriate publicity, but
they can only go to work once they know a result is available.
Please remember that the public strongly supports astronomy in part
because they enjoy seeing the fruit of our work!

Please contact us through the helpdesk: xmmhelp@sciops.esa.int

XMM-Newton Users' Handbook update for AO-7

The XMM-Newton Users' Handbook (UHB) has been updated to version
2.5 in preparation for the next Announcement of Opportunity (AO-7)
and reflecting latest in-flight experience.

The AO-7 will open on the 28th of August 2007 with a due date
for proposals on the 5th of October 2007 (12:00 UT) (for further
details, see XMM-NEWTON NEWS #63).

The UHB contains information on the instrumentation on board
XMM-Newton and serves as the main technical support document for
proposal preparation, based on which potential XMM-Newton users
can assess the technical feasibility of their planned observations.

The XMM-Newton Users' Handbook is available on-line at


Alternatively, postscript and PDF versions of the UHB can be
downloaded from the "XMM-Newton Proposer's Info and Manuals"
portal at


SAS 7.1.0 release: problems found and solved

We were able to solve quickly three problems which showed up in the
SAS 7.1.0 release. Due to faulty compression scripts there were some
packages missing in all binaries corresponding to SAS 7.1.0 and
also - though affecting only Mac OSX users - there was a damaged
library. In addition, several users reported crashes of the task
eexpmap. For all three cases patches were quickly provided for the
SAS binaries distribution. These require download and installation
by the users. They are all documented under
http://xmm.esac.esa.int/sas/. We regret any inconvenience caused.

Now available: XSA (v4.0) with newly reprocessed data
and 2XMM catalogue

A new version of the XMM-Newton Science Archive (XSAv4.0) is now
available (http://xmm.esac.esa.int/xsa/). It includes a full,
uniform reprocessing of all XMM-Newton data with homogeneous
software and calibration for a total number of 4540 public
observations. It allows also users to access the second XMM-Newton
EPIC Serendipitous Source Catalogue (2XMM).

First full pipeline reprocessing of XMM-Newton data
The XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre (SSC; 
has undertaken, during 2006/2007, a full reprocessing of all
XMM-Newton observations, using a SAS version very close to the
public SASv7.0 and the same set of calibration files. The processing
includes a screening process of all individual datasets by SSC
astronomers. The results of that screening are reflected in data
quality reports. The quality reports have only recently been
finalised and will only become accessible through the XSA user
interface around the end of August 2007.

The XMM-Newton pipeline products include calibrated event lists for
all X-ray cameras, as well as a number of higher-level products
such as sky images, source lists, cross-correlations with archival
catalogues (performed at the Observatoire Astronomique de
Strasbourg). New products include extended source detection and
parametrisation, as well as spectra and light curves for
sufficiently bright sources (available in the PPS products suite).
The 2XMM source catalogue has been constructed from public
observations during this reprocessing.

For selected products (EPIC sky images, DSS finding charts, EPIC
source spectra and light-curves, RGS spectra) quick-look icons in
the XSA user interface allow users to get a first qualitative
impression of the scientific quality of each individual observation
or source.

The second XMM-Newton EPIC Serendipitous Source Catalogue - 2XMM -
is being released with XSAv4.0. It contains ~247000 detections (of
~192000 unique sources) from 3491 observations that were public by
May 1st 2007, and covers a sky area of ~360 square degrees
(allowing for overlaps). This represents an increase of
approximately 55% in terms of unique sources compared with a
preliminary version of the same catalogue ("2XMMp") released on
July 2006. Of the total, 20837 detections are classified as
extended, and spectra and time series have been extracted for 38320
detections, 2307 of which are considered to be variable. The
positional uncertainty of the catalogue detections is generally
< 2 arcseconds. Typical sensitivities in the 2XMM catalogue are
~6x10^{-15} and ~1.5x10^{-14} (cgs units) in the soft (0.2-2 keV)
and hard (2-12 keV) X-ray band, respectively. The creation of the
2XMM catalogue was a joint venture carried out by the SSC
consortium. Details of the catalogue and full 2XMM documentation is
available at:


Alongside the XSA user interface, 2XMM is also available through:

XCATDB: http://amwdb.u-strasbg.fr/2xmm
LEDAS:  http://www.ledas.ac.uk/

Update of the Slew Survey Catalogue
An update to the XMM-Newton Slew Catalogue (XMMSL1) is being
released with XSAv4.0. This update (called "Delta-1") contains data
from 109 slews mainly taken between Revolution 1200 and 1309,
covering 3800 square degrees and containing 3482 detections. XMMSL1
now contains 8662 detections in the full catalogue and 4326 sources
in the CLEAN catalogue. The sky coverage is 20%.

Release of a new version of "EPIC status of calibration and data
analysis" document

Version 2.6 of the EPIC status of calibration and data analysis
document has been released. This document reflects the improvements
in the EPIC calibration with SAS7.1.0 and the newest CCFs.
The document is available from the XMM-Newton Calibration Portal at


Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC

XMM-NEWS mailing list

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