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6th ESAC SAS Workshop Announcement

Due to a planned migration of the XMM-Newton SOC web portal, all SOC internet services (including ToO Alerts) will be unavailable Wednesday, 10 February from 10:00 to 13:00 (GMT).

6th SAS Workshop, 30 May - 2 June, 2006

The submission deadline has been extended to 28th Apr 2006.

Motivation and rationale

The 6th ESAC Science Analysis System (SAS) Workshop aims at providing XMM-Newton users, having little or no experience of XMM-Newton data analysis, with an introduction to the procedures and techniques to successfully reduce and analyze XMM-Newton data. No specific knowledge of X-ray data analysis is required to attend the workshop, although a general knowledge of XMM-Newton and its scientific payload is desireable. We recommend the workshop participants to refer to the XMM-Newton Users' Handbook. Those wishing to familiarise themselves somewhat with the SAS may refer to the SAS Users' Guide. The presentations from previous workshops are also available via the XMM-Newton SAS Portal.

Workshop structure

The 4-day workshop is organized around 4 half-days of presentations and 4 half-days of practical training (hands-on) sessions.

The presentations will cover basic topics related to XMM-Newton data analysis and SAS, such as:
  • Introduction to X-ray data analysis
  • Statistics issues in X-ray spectral analysis
  • XMM-Newton calibration status
  • SAS installation and set-up
  • SAS data reduction meta-tasks
  • Spectral analysis of point-like sources with EPIC and RGS
  • Spectral analysis of extended sources with EPIC
  • EPIC source detection
  • OM data analysis for imaging and timing modes (lenticular filters and grisms)
  • Processing Pipeline System products
  • The XMM-Newton Science Archive
  • The 1XMM Serendipitous Source Catalog

During the hands-on training sessions the participants, supported by XMM-Newton SOC scientists, will have the opportunity to accomplish reduction tasks on XMM-Newton public datasets drawn from the SAS Scientific Validation programme. Participants may use their own data as well, if they wish.

The Workshop Program is available from:


Attendance at the workshop is limited to 20 persons.

In order to register, please print, fill-in and send the registration form via FAX to Michelle Arpizou, XMM-Newton Science Operation Centre, ESAC, ESA (FAX number +34.91.8131172). The form must be returned by the (extended) deadline of Friday, April 28, 2006.

The available places will be filled on a strict "first register, first served" basis. Those who register once the available places have already been filled will be notified and enrolled for the next workshop if they wish.

Registration f(r)ee

No fee is required to attend the workshop. Workshop participants can have lunch at the ESAC canteen. The cost of a typical meal is around 5 Euro.


A block of rooms has been reserved at the following hotel:
  • Hotel Los Lanceros
    Calvario 47-49
    E-28200, San Lorenzo de El Escorial
    Tel. +34.91.8908011, Fax. +34.91.8961086
      Twin room, single occupancy, including Breakfast  -  62.00 EUR + 7% tax
      Twin room, double occupancy, including Breakfast  -  75.00 EUR + 7% tax
If you intend to stay at the suggested hotel, please contact them directly for your reservation, quoting explicitely that you participate in the ESAC SAS Workshop (you may find this registration form useful).

Useful information on the hotel location and Madrid public transport system can be found at the following URLs (some available in Spanish only):


ESAC has a canteen facility, where Workshop participants can have lunch, if they wish. A typical 3-course meal costs about 5 Euros.

A Workshop informal dinner will be held on Wednesday, May 31, in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, starting from 21:00. The foreseen cost is around 25 Euros per person.


June is one of the best times of the year to visit the Madrid area. The weather is normally pleasant, with daytime temperatures around 25 degrees, and long, fresh nights. San Lorenzo de El Escorial, at an altitude of ~1200 meters, is, however, significantly cooler. Occasionally, May rain may extend into the beginning of June. The (in)famously hot Madrid summer, with temperatures higher than 35 degrees all day and night long, starts usually only at the end of June.

Useful links for the current status of the weather in the Madrid area are:


A shuttle bus service will be available free of charge for the Workshop participants from the Hotel Los Lanceros, in San Lorenzo de El Escorial and ESAC in the morning, and from ESAC to the hotel in the afternoon. This service is also available for Workshop participants who do not stay at the recommended hotel. The transport schedule is as follows:

Date Time From To
May 30 09:00 Hotel Los Lanceros ESAC
  18:45 ESAC Hotel Los Lanceros
May 31 09:00 Hotel Los Lanceros ESAC
  18:15 ESAC Hotel Los Lanceros
June 1 09:00 Hotel Los Lanceros ESAC
  18:15 ESAC Hotel Los Lanceros
June 2 09:00 Hotel Los Lanceros ESAC
  17:30 ESAC Moncloa Subway Station

Workshop participants, who do not intend to use this bus service, are kindly requested to notify us of that fact by sending an e-mail to the XMM-Newton HelpDesk (

On the last Workshop day (June 2), taxis to the airport can be arranged upon request, at the participant's expense.

Please, be aware that ESAC is not easy to access with public transportation. Refer to the ESAC access web page for more information:

How to Contact Us

For your last-minute doubts, problems or information requests, please do not hesitate to contact the XMM-Newton SOC HelpDesk at URL:

SAS Workshop Local Organizing Committee

  • Michelle Arpizou
  • Michel Breitfellner (chair)
  • Matthias Ehle
  • Carlos Gabriel
  • Matteo Guainazzi
  • Nora Loiseau
  • Eduardo Ojero
  • Antonio Talavera
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This page was last updated on 3 February, 2009.