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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report # 161: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #81

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_/            XMM-NEWTON NEWS #81   ---    26-Aug-2008            _/
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              XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
               ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre,
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  XMM-Newton Announcement of Opportunity (AO-8)
  - Letter of Invitation
    by the ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration
  - Appendix: List of documentation
  Time line for Phase II proposal submission
  Important changes for AO-8, relative to earlier Calls

XMM-Newton Announcement of Opportunity (AO-8)

Letter of Invitation
by the ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration

Dear Colleague,

I am very pleased to invite you to respond to the eighth
"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 0.2 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 2009 to April 2010. 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        26 August     2008
Due date for Proposals             10 October    2008 (12:00 UT)
Final OTAC approved program        late December 2008

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

Yours sincerely,

Prof. D. Southwood
Director of Science and Robotic Exploration

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
  ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration is the formal
  Announcement of Opportunity to apply for XMM-Newton observing

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/ESAC ftp server. Proposers should use ftp to access
"xmm.esac.esa.int", then, log in as "anonymous" and give their
e-mail address as password. Type "cd pub/AO8" 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     12 January  2009
Closure of phase II proposal submission   06 February 2009

Important changes for AO-8, relative to earlier Calls

Very Large Programs
Scientific programs requiring more than 1 Msec of observing time
are referred to as "Very Large Programs". These "Very Large
Programs" may be accepted for observation in two consecutive AOs.
Further details are given in section 5.2.3 of the Policies and
Procedures document.

Instrumental Modes
Three modes, the "Mosaic mode", the "RGS multi-pointing mode" and
the "pn modified timing mode", may be considered for individual
observations on a best effort basis upon request of the PI (see
sections 5.6 and 8.4 of the Policies and Procedures document).
Technical details on these modes can be found in section 4.6 of the
XMM-Newton Users Handbook

Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC

XMM-NEWS mailing list

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