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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #341: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #211


             XMM-NEWTON NEWS #211    ---    22-Jun-2018


            XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
             ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre,
            Villanueva de la Canada,  Madrid, Spain


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- Version 17.0 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released

- Data Analysis Threads for SAS v17.0

- ESA Research Fellowship in Space Science at ESAC

- The Hunt for Galaxy Clusters:
  A Citizen Science Project using XMM-Newton Data

Version 17.0 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released

The XMM-Newton  SAS team  is pleased  to announce the  release of  a new
version of the SAS: SAS v17.0.

Binaries for diverse flavours of Linux and Mac OS X are available at


The main improvements of this release can be summarised as follows:

- New  in  this  release  is  the Graphical  User  Interface  (GUI)  for
  "xmmextractor".  This  task should  be considered as  experimental and
  user feedback is very welcome.

- The energy of the events recorded by the EPIC-pn camera has been shown
  to  be dependent  on the  recent background  level experienced  in the
  camera.  Tasks  within the "epchain" and "epproc"  processes have been
  adapted  to  make  this  correction.   At  the  time  of  release  the
  correction has not  been fully calibrated and the  event energies will
  be identical  to those produced  with SAS v16.1.0.  A  new calibration
  file will be released shortly to activate this correction.

- The  calculation of  the  size  of the  source  extraction region  for
  Timing/Burst mode data has been  made more accurate in the "backscale"
  and "arfgen" tasks.

- The  task "arfgen" has  been generalised  to allow  a detector  or sky
  coordinate image  from any EPIC camera  to be used to  correct for bad
  pixels and chip gaps.

- EPIC  data  taken in  RGS  multi-pointing  mode  now has  the  correct
  coordinate   conversions  applied   when  using   "arfgen"   with  the
  "useodfatt=yes" option.

- Various updates have been made  to "esas", including making the source
  masks produced by the task "cheese" proportional in size to the source

This version of SAS is released  in two 64-bit binary versions for Linux
(RHEL 6.8  and Ubuntu 16), and one  for Mac OS X  (Sierra). The versions
released have  been tested to  run correctly on several  other platforms
including CentOs 7.3, El Capitan and High Sierra. Libraries are provided
where necessary together with the distribution.

Data Analysis Threads for SAS v17.0

SAS analysis threads have been  revised to ensure compatibility with the
recently released SAS v17.0. A new thread dealing with the extraction of
EPIC spectra for observations taken  in RGS Multi-pointing Mode has been

SAS Threads are available at


ESA Research Fellowships in Space Science at ESAC

Postdoctoral  fellowships  in the  area  of  Astronomy and  Astrophysics
related  to  the  X-ray   observatory  XMM-Newton  are  tenable  at  the
XMM-Newton  Science Operations  Centre in  the European  Space Astronomy
Centre (ESAC) located in Villafranca del Castillo, near Madrid, Spain.

The deadline for applications is

                           1st October 2018

The European  Space Agency awards several  postdoctoral fellowships each
year.   The aim  of these  fellowships is  to provide  young scientists,
holding a  PhD or  the equivalent degree,  with the means  of performing
space science research  in fields related to the  ESA Science Programme.
The fellowships have a duration of two years, with a possible third year

Applications are now solicited for  fellowships to begin in autumn 2019.
Preference will be  given to applications submitted by  candidates in an
early  stage of  their  career. Candidates  not  holding a  PhD yet  are
encouraged to apply,  but they must provide evidence  of receiving their
degree before starting the fellowship.

Working at ESAC within the  XMM-Newton team gives the unique opportunity
of being in  contact with the calibration scientists,  the developers of
the analysis software and the User Support Group.

Research  opportunities  with XMM-Newton  science  staff include,  among
other, studies of  the high energy emission of  novae, galaxies, and AGN
using XMM-Newton datal, see e.g.
https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/esac-science-faculty/groups-agn,   and

Please contact Norbert Schartel (Norbert.Schartel_at_sciops.esa.int) for
more details on ESA Research Fellowships related to XMM-Newton.

More  information on  the  ESA Research  Fellowship  programme in  Space
Science, on the  conditions and eligibility, as well  as the application
form can be retrieved from


The Hunt for Galaxy Clusters:
A Citizen Science Project using XMM-Newton Data

We would like to bring your  attention "The Hunt for Galaxy Clusters", a
citizen science project on the Zooniverse platform.

The  goal of  the project  is  to obtain  labeled data  to train  neural
networks for the  automated search of galaxy clusters  in the XMM-Newton
archival  database.   Volunteers  to  participate in  this  project  are

More details at "The Hunt for Galaxy Clusters" website


Yours sincerely,

XMM-Newton SOC

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