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XMM-Newton-NEWS  #131,    23-Jan-2012

XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre,
P.O. Box - Apdo. 78, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain

SOC Home Page:
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  • Anticipated timeline for next XMM-Newton Announcement of Opportunity: AO-12
  • EPIC-pn Fast Modes Calibration Status Document
  • RGS Line Spread Function Update
  • Conference Announcement: "Half a Century of X-Ray Astronomy"

Anticipated timeline for next XMM-Newton Announcement of Opportunity: AO-12

The planned key milestones for the twelfth XMM-Newton "Announcement of Opportunity" have been established. Within this AO-12 a new call to submit proposals for observations to be performed with the XMM-Newton observatory will be issued.

To be prepared for this, please find below the anticipated timeline:

  Announcement of Opportunity21 August 2012
  Due date for proposals5 October 2012 (12:00 UT)
  Final OTAC approved programme     mid December 2012

For approved proposals only:

  Start of phase II proposal submission8 January 2013
  Closure of phase II proposal submission     1 February 2013
  Start of AO-12 observationsMay 2013

The official "Announcement of Opportunity" will be made public in the XMM-Newton News and on the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre home page.

EPIC-pn Fast Modes Calibration Status Document

A new version of the document: "Evaluation of the spectral calibration accuracy in EPIC-pn fast modes" is available from the XMM-Newton calibration portal at

This document is intended to provide XMM-Newton users with a systematic assessment of the quality of the spectral calibration for EPIC-pn spectra taken in Burst and Timing Modes.

The new version includes:

  • the discussion of a recently discovered systematic X-ray loading affecting the majority of the EPIC-pn fast modes exposures in the XMM Science Archive, as well as of the measures put in place to mitigate/correct it.
  • an evaluation of the performance and limitations of the rate-dependent CTI correction embedded in the SAS task "epfast".
  • the results of recent experiments aimed at evaluating the redistribution in Timing mode vis-a-vis other instrumental modes.

RGS Line Spread Function Update

Measurements as accurate as possible of the positions and widths of lines are an important requirement of the high-resolution RGS.

Improvements to the RGS line-spread function (LSF) were recently made available in the new CCF components RGS[12]_LINESPREADFUNC_0005.CCF.

The accompanying release note

gives full details of the modifications that were made, and shows examples of narrow emission lines compared to models derived with the old and new LSFs.

Conference Announcement:
"Half a Century of X-Ray Astronomy"

The Conference

  "Half a Century of X-Ray Astronomy"

will be held on 17-21 September 2012, in Mykonos Island, Greece.

X-ray Astronomy celebrates in 2012 its 50th birthday. This year finds the XMM-Newton and Chandra missions quite mature after twelve years in orbit. They have produced a wealth of exciting results ranging from accretion physics to cosmology. In 2012, the first results from the long awaited Nustar mission will be presented, while the final preparations for the launch of SRG/eROSITA are taking place.

The topics of this conference will cover the full range of X-ray Astronomy, from X-ray surveys, AGN and clusters, to galaxies and accreting objects in our Galaxy, as well as instrumentation and new missions.

Deadline for abstract submission and early registration is 15th June 2012.

Full details are given in the Conference Web Page:

Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC

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This page was last updated on 30 January, 2012.