HEADNEWS: THE ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER OF THE
HIGH ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS DIVISION OF THE AAS
||Newsletter No. 77, November 2000
- Notes from the Editor - Paul Hertz
- Herbert Friedman 1916-2000
- Robert Michael Hjellming 1938-2000
- John A. Simpson 1916-2000
- First Schramm Award to be Presented in Honolulu - Lynn Cominsky
- HETE-2 Spacecraft Successfully Launched - Lynn Cominsky
- HEAD in the News (6/00-10/00) - Lynn Cominsky
- HEAD Sessions at San Diego AAS Meeting - Josh Grindlay
- News from NASA Headquarters - Paul Hertz
- April 2001 Meeting of the APS in Washington, DC - Chuck Dermer
- News from the Chandra X-ray Observatory - Belinda Wilkes
- Chandra Fellowship Program Application Deadline - Nancy Remage Evans
- Update on the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer - Tod Strohmayer
- Swift Mission News - Lynn Cominsky
- GLAST Update - Don Kniffen
- INTEGRAL Cycle 1 Observing Proposals Solicited - Christoph Winkler
- Comments Solicited Concerning Physical Review Letters - Virginia Trimble
- Symposium Announcement: "New Century of X-ray Astronomy" - Hajime Inoue
- Symposium Announcement: "The High Energy Universe at Sharp Focus" - Eric Schlegel
- CHIANTI Database Extended - Ken Dere
1. Notes from the Editor -
Paul Hertz, HEAD Secretary-Treasurer, 202-358-0986
The HEAD Newsletter provides a semi-annual opportunity to summarize many of the programs and news events which are of importance to the high energy astrophysics community. The volume of this issue of the newsletter is a reflection of the current vitality of our field. It may, however, have become too large to comfortable scroll through in a mail reader. The HEAD Executive Committee is considering several changes including (i) a web based newsletter with an e-mailed table-of-contents and index and (ii) monthly mini-newsletters with meeting announcements and other deadline-oriented news. If you have any comments on these issues, please let me or any member of the HEAD Executive Committee know your opinions.
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2. Herbert Friedman 1916-2000
An Obituary Prepared for the HEAD Newsletter
Herbert Gursky, Naval Research Laboratory
Herbert Friedman died of cancer at his home in Arlington, Virginia on 9 September 2000. He spent his entire professional career at the Naval Research Laboratory, arriving in 1940 after completing his graduate work at Johns Hopkins University. He retired in 1980 but maintained an active association with the Laboratory and the community until his death.
Friedman had a remarkably diverse career as a scientist. He was a recognized pioneer in the space sciences for his contributions to solar physics, aeronomy, and astronomy but he also made fundamental advances in the application of x-rays to material analysis. He was also a great science statesman and public spokesperson for science. During his lifetime he captured virtually every science award, including the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the National Medal of Science, the William Bowie Medal of the American Geophysical Society, the Henry Norris Russell Award of the American Astronomical Society, and the Wolf Foundation Prize in Physics. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Science in 1960. His service to science included membership on the President's Science Advisory Committee, the General Advisory Committee to the Atomic Energy Commission, the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences and the Governing Board of the National Academy of Sciences.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York on 21 June 1916, the second of three children of Samuel and Rebecca Friedman. Friedman entered Brooklyn College in 1932 with the intention of majoring in art but ended up in physics. Friedman's graduate work involved the characterization of materials using x-ray diffraction techniques. Until around 1950 at NRL Friedman's research was dedicated to laboratory x-ray analysis, an area in which he published 25 papers and was granted 50 patents. His special skill was the development x-ray sensitive Geiger counters and much of Friedman's work involved their application; for example, the characterization of thin films with x-rays and the development of x-ray fluorescence analysis. He also developed Geiger counters with high efficiency for gamma rays that were used as the core of the national program of monitoring atmospheric nuclear explosions and resulted in detecting the first Soviet nuclear explosion in 1949. In 1945, Dr. Friedman received the first of a long line of awards, the Navy's Distinguished Civilian Service Award for the wartime development of a technique for cutting and tuning RF crystals by using their Bragg reflection characteristics.
By 1950, Friedman had switched to the newly emerging field of observations from space using sounding rockets. Fortuitously, by that time he was working for E. O. Hulburt, a pioneer in the study of the upper atmosphere. Friedman's first experiment, flown on the 49th V-2 rocket launched from White Sands, was conducted in 1949 and comprised observing solar x-ray and ultraviolet radiation using Geiger counters in order to determine the source of the ionization of the upper atmosphere. Friedman continued his solar and atmospheric observations for another decade in what was a heroic period of rocket science. He managed to arrange for the launch of rockets from shipboard; one, a series of rockoons (small rockets carried up on balloons and then launched) captured a solar flare and demonstrated that the emission was principally in the form of x-rays; another, a series of Nike-Asp rockets fired during the 1958 total solar eclipse demonstrated that the x-ray emission extended far beyond the visible disk of the sun and was concentrated in small regions on the surface. These series of rocket observations also demonstrated the effect of solar x-rays on the upper atmosphere. During this period of time he also obtained the first image of the sun with a pinhole camera, flew the first Bragg spectrometer for measuring hard x-rays and developed and flew the first satellite dedicated to solar observations, SOLRAD, that traced out the solar x-ray flux during a solar cycle.
Friedman switched to 'nighttime' astronomy in 1955 with a rocket flight using collimated Geiger counters sensitive in the mid-ultraviolet that revealed significant emission associated with the Milky Way. Following the discovery of cosmic x-ray sources in 1962 Friedman responded with a rocket flight in early 1963 that unambiguously confirmed the presence of discrete sources of x-rays and of a diffuse x-ray background. In 1964 he conducted what has been regarded as one of the more noteworthy single experiments conducted with sounding rockets, the observation of the Crab Nebula as it was being occulted by the moon. This experiment demonstrated positively that the Crab Nebula was a source of x-rays and that the emission was associated with the nebula itself. Actually the result was a considerable disappointment to Friedman who was hoping to observe emission from a point-like feature near the center of the nebula that might have been the neutron star remnant of the supernova explosion responsible for the creation of the nebula.
Friedman's career as a scientist-statesman began around 1960 and involved his participation, membership and office tenure in almost every organization, study, and advisory panel dealing with the space sciences. His career as a writer began in 1975 with the appearance of his book, The Amazing Universe, followed in 1985 by The Sun and Earth and in 1990 by The Astronomer's Universe.
Friedman's genius as a scientist lay in devising simple experiments that resolved important problems. It is hard to find other examples of his string of successes over such a broad range of science, barely touched on here. But he clearly had little interest in large space missions by the time they were becoming feasible, even though early in his career he had been involved with and directed major enterprises, such as his effort in the search for nuclear debris and his ship campaigns to launch rockets. His only major NASA mission was the large area proportional counter survey experiment on HEAO-1. But by the 1960s he was obviously putting much of his energy into community service. For HEAD members it should be noted that he was a good friend of high energy astronomy. Frank Press tells the story that during the administration of President Carter a choice needed to be made between a Halley Comet Mission and the Gamma Ray Observatory. Friedman was approached for an opinion. He responded that a Halley mission would be very popular and return spectacular results, but observing gamma rays was more fundamental. The Carter administration did, in fact, opt for the Gamma Ray Observatory.
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3. Robert Michael Hjellming 1938-2000
(excerpted and adapted from the October 2000 NRAO newsletter articles by M. P. Rupen, D. E. Hogg and P. van den Bout. For more details, see http://www.nrao.edu/news/newsletters/index.shtml)
Robert Hjellming died of natural causes while scuba diving on July 29, 2000. Hjellming was one of the first radio astronomers to study X-ray emitting objects. In the early 1970s, he was part of the team that detected the radio counterpart of Sco X-1 and (with Wade) obtained the precise radio position for Cyg X-1, which confirmed its optical identification and black hole candidate status. Bob began his career as a theorist, completing his Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of Chicago/Yerkes Observatory, under Peter Vandervoort in 1965, with a dissertation on "Physical Processes in HII regions." He served as a faculty member at Case Western University before joining the staff at NRAO, where he worked for 32 years. At NRAO, he initially worked on the Green Bank Interferometer, then moved to New Mexico to help implement the VLA. Shortly after moving to New Mexico, Bob became an adjunct professor at New Mexico Tech (NMT) and maintained that affiliation until his death. As well as supervising a series of Master's and doctoral theses, Bob developed and taught the first radio astronomy course at NMT. He also served as first Project Scientist for AIPS++, authored the first VLA User's Manual, and made important contributions to the design of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA).
Other high energy related work done by Hjellming included his important studies of the famous Galactic binary, SS 433. In a classic series of papers with Ken Johnston and others, based on early observations with the VLA, Bob showed that the 0.26c motions implied by optical measurements result also in extended radio jets having high proper motion. The precessing jet model he used has become the standard paradigm for Galactic jets and Bob returned to it in 1995 in analyzing his radio images of the second Galactic microquasar to be discovered, GRO J1655-40. Once again he was among the pioneers in using a new radio telescope, the Very Long Baseline Array, to image this and other Galactic X-ray binaries and transients.
The last research project Bob saw through to completion, an analysis of radio observations of the X-ray transient V4641 Sgr, is to be published in November in the Astrophysical Journal. It exemplifies the breadth of Bob's interests. The data were taken as part of his on-going program of monitoring radio emission from Galactic X-ray sources, carried out for almost 30 years with both the GBI and (since 1977) the VLA, and the analysis involved a major extension of the precessing jet model Bob developed in 1981.
Bob was truly a leader in coordinating the efforts of radio and X-ray astronomers to investigate the formation of jets in erupting black hole binaries. His tireless commitment and his quick response to X-ray novae produced archives of early radio outbursts that would have otherwise remained lost opportunities. Those who worked directly with Bob feel a great loss, both in terms of research productivity and for the friendship and enthusiasm he brought to the field. He is survived by his wife Carol and their five children. Associated Universities, Inc., has established a memorial scholarship fund in his honor, in cooperation with the Hjellming family and the Alamo Navajo School Board in New Mexico. This fund will provide scholarships to support higher education for graduates of the Alamo Navajo Community School in Socorro County, New Mexico. Donations may be mailed to NRAO in Socorro, to the attention of Skip Lagoyda, at P.O. Box 0, Socorro, NM, 87801. Checks should be made payable to "AUI/Hjellming Memorial Scholarship Fund." All donations to this fund are tax deductible.
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4. John A. Simpson 1916-2000
A Memorial Service to Celebrate the Life of John Simpson will be held at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, November 19, 2000, in the Max Palevsky Cinema of Ida Noyes Hall (1212 East 59th Street), University of Chicago. For further information on the memorial service and for links to biographies of and tributes to John Simpson, see http://ulysses.uchicago.edu/simpson/.
(reprinted from the Chicago Tribune)
James Janega, Tribune Staff Writer, September 2, 2000
Somewhere in space above us, and in the white-hot haze around the sun, John Alexander Simpson's legacy lives on, bleeping measurements relentlessly across the void back toward Earth.
It is hard even to conceptualize the sheer physical reach of Mr. Simpson's contribution to science. A pioneer in the study of cosmic rays, his instruments are now orbiting the sun's south pole aboard the Ulysses spacecraft, rocketing toward Comet Wild-2 on Stardust, and dwindling into deep space aboard Pioneer 10, way out in the lonely black, already twice as far from the sun as Pluto.
Outlived by his experiments, Mr. Simpson, 83, the University of Chicago's Arthur H. Compton distinguished service professor emeritus, died Thursday, Aug. 31, in the university's Bernard Mitchell Hospital of pneumonia following open heart surgery.
He invented the neutron monitor that allows the measurement of cosmic rays, high-energy atomic nuclei spewed out by exploding stars. He also was the first to postulate that the Earth's magnetic field had an effect on the intensity of cosmic rays pounding the planet's surface, and he was the first to collect evidence on how the sun's magnetic field influences solar wind in the heliosphere.
"He was always at the frontier, seeing things for the first time, and thereby having the opportunity to interpret and understand things for the first time," said Edward C. Stone, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a one-time doctoral student under Mr. Simpson.
"The kind of science he did certainly is consistent with what people now call the `smaller, faster, cheaper' model. He started in that style of space exploration, and he continued that right to the end of his career."
In person, Mr. Simpson seemed a grandfatherly tinker, somewhat reminiscent of a trusted country mechanic. He evinced an experimenter's approach to particle physics, of rolling up one's sleeves and building things. His creations became complicated wire and tubing sculptures, which he would then stick onto space vehicles, ultimately to be hurled into space.
He also was an oft-consulted elder scientist who could presage public policy. A scientific group leader for the Manhattan Project, he was among the project's scientists to campaign for the peaceful use of nuclear power after the United States dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. He stated the scientists' case in a 1945 Life magazine article, and later that year became an unofficial adviser to U.S. Sen. Brien McMahon. McMahon chaired the Senate Special Committee on the Control of Atomic Energy.
Born in Portland, Ore., Mr. Simpson received a bachelor's from Reed College in 1940, and his master's and doctorate from New York University in 1942 and 1943. He worked on the Manhattan Project until 1946, when he joined the U. of C. faculty, becoming a full professor in 1954, and ultimately moving through a succession of prestigious, named professorships at the university. He had been a professor emeritus since 1987.
He was president of the International Commission on Cosmic Radiation from 1965 to 1967, was director of the Enrico Fermi Institute from 1973 to 1978, and held the Smithsonian Institution's Space Science History chair in 1987 and 1988. He won awards from physics and astronomical societies in the United States, Ireland, the former Soviet Union and the United Nations.
Most of his work centered on cosmic rays, which Mr. Simpson described for the Tribune in 1988 as "the Rosetta stones of astronomy."
"They show how elements were cooked inside of stars. It's like doing nuclear physics in space," he said.
To measure them, Mr. Simpson invented a neutron monitor in 1948, setting up monitoring stations from Chicago to Peru by 1951, and discovered cosmic ray bombardment was less intense near the equator.
"John pointed out that this was probably due to magnetic fields varying in space," said Eugene Parker, a fellow professor emeritus at the U. of C. "They had the effect of somehow eliminating the lower-energy cosmic rays here on Earth."
In 1956, Mr. Simpson's instruments measured a solar flare, and the evidence pointed to the fact that the sun's magnetic field probably had a big effect on where in the solar system the solar wind blew. Scientists think Pioneer 10, launched in 1972, may just now be reaching the limits of solar gusts, some 75 times as far from the sun as Earth is. Mr. Simpson was still gathering information from Pioneer 10 last year.
Another of his inventions, aboard the Cassini spacecraft, will collect and analyze dust particles in Saturn's rings. One of his instruments was on the Soviet Union's missions to Halley's Comet in 1986; another mission will rendezvous with Comet Wild-2 in 2004.
"He was clearly one of the pioneers of the space age," Stone said. "And he continued that."
Mr. Simpson is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; a daughter, Mary Ann Smith; a son, John A. Simpson; and three grandchildren. He was divorced from his first wife, Elizabeth Hiltz Simpson, in 1977; she died in 1990.
A memorial service was being planned for Mr. Simpson.
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5. First Schramm Award to be Presented in Honolulu -
Lynn Cominsky, HEAD Press Officer, Sonoma State University
HEAD has chosen two winners for the first David N. Schramm Award for High-Energy Astrophysics Science Journalism. The winners are Kathy Sawyer of the Washington Post and Robert Zimmerman, a freelance writer. They will share the $1,000 prize and will each be presented a plaque at the HEAD scientific meeting in Honolulu in November.
Zimmerman won for an article about gamma ray bursts in The Sciences entitled, "There She Blows." In the article, Zimmerman delves into the 35-year-old history of burst observations and gibes at a few scientists who were absolutely convinced they understood what these bursts were but have since been proven wrong. "We're going through a renaissance in astronomy, and it's always exciting to be able to write about it," said Zimmerman, who is also a frequent contributor to Astronomy, Invention & Technology, and The Wall Street Journal. "The great thing about covering astronomy is that you can look up an astronomer's number in the phone book, call them, and they will answer your questions at length."
Sawyer won this year's Schramm Award for her piece in the Post called "Flash!", also about gamma ray bursts. The article is full of such rich descriptions as "flamboyant havoc" and "titanic cataclysms," characteristic of Sawyer's thorough yet entertaining reporting. "I'm delighted and honored to win the award," said Sawyer, "especially since Dr. Schramm was always so willing to patiently help me try to understand and put into plain English the knottier aspects of Big Bang astrophysics."
HEAD will present this award every 18 months at its division meetings. Entries are judged by a committee of distinguished scientists and journalists selected by the HEAD Executive Committee. More information about the prize is available at http://www.aas.org/head/schramm/schramm.prize.html.
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6. HETE-2 Spacecraft Successfully Launched -
Lynn Cominsky, Sonoma State University
A new gamma ray burst mission, the High-Energy Transient Explorer (HETE-2), made its entrance into space October 9, 2000 at 1:38 a.m. EDT from the Kwajalein Missile Range in the Marshall Islands.
HETE-2 was deployed by an L-1011 aircraft and carried into an equatorial orbit by a Hybrid Pegasus expendable launch vehicle. The spacecraft separated from the Pegasus rocket approximately 12 minutes after launch. As of October 11, the solar panels had been deployed and the radiation belt monitor had been turned on. All three of the HETE-2 main ground stations are able to receive and transmit data, and the network of Burst Alert Stations is being checked out. During the week of October 16, the scientific instruments will undergo their initial checkout. This will be followed by a week of Global Positioning System and Attitude Control System checkout and operation. By early November, the scientific instruments should be fully operational.
The Principal Investigator for HETE-2, Dr. George R. Ricker (MIT) noted that "the successful launch of HETE-2 means that for the first time we can locate with pinpoint accuracy hundreds of these bursts. Also, HETE-2's ability to relay the accurate location of each burst in real-time to space- and ground-based optical and radio observatories will surely revolutionize this exciting new area of high energy astrophysics."
Within seconds of a gamma-ray burst's appearance within the field of view of its detectors, HETE-2 will be able to calculate a precise location for that burst. On the ground, a dedicated network of 12 listen-only burst alert stations will relay the data to the MIT control center. From there, information will be transmitted to the Gamma Ray Burst Coordinate Distribution Network at the Goddard Space Flight Center, which can send the information to other observatories worldwide in 10-20 seconds, significantly faster than previously possible. HETE-2 will allow astronomers to see a burst while it is still occurring and allow scientists to study its development at various wavelengths.
The spacecraft carries three main instruments and is supported by a computer network that transmits data to other observatories. The French Gamma Telescope (FREGATE), built by CESR, will detect gamma-ray bursts and very bright (higher energy) X-ray transients. The Wide-Field X-ray Monitor (WXM), built by RIKEN and Los Alamos National Laboratory, detects photons slightly lower in energy than does the FREGATE. Although the WXM will detect fewer gamma-ray bursts than will FREGATE, its superior angular resolution will enable it to locate the FREGATE-detected bursts to within 10 arc minutes (an area of sky about equal to 1/10 the size of the full Moon). The Soft X-ray Camera (SXC), built by MIT, covers the lowest energy band of the three instruments. It also provides the best angular resolution, resulting in a location accuracy of about 10 arc seconds, more than an order of magnitude finer than any previous GRB instrument.
HETE-2 is a collaboration between NASA; MIT; Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico; France's Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements (CESR), and Ecole Nationale Superieure de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace (Sup'Aero); and Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN). The science team includes members from the University of California (Berkeley and Santa Cruz) and the University of Chicago.
More information on the HETE-2 mission can be found at: http://space.mit.edu/HETE. NASA provided live web coverage of the launch from Kwajalein: the URL (as of October 15) is http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/payload/missions/hete-2.
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7. HEAD in the News (6/00-10/00) -
Lynn Cominsky, HEAD Press Officer, Sonoma State University
Stunning images and cutting edge science from Chandra have dominated the HEAD news for the last several months. In June, Chandra received recognition as the winner of the Editor's Choice category of the 2000 Discover Magazine Awards for Technological Innovation. The team of government, industry, university and research institutions that designed, built and deployed Chandra for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala, were formally recognized June 24 at a gala awards celebration at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fl. And Chandra celebrated the first anniversary of its scientific observations in August. For more details of all the Chandra news below, see http://chandra.Harvard.edu/press/press_release.html.
News from the Rochester AAS Meeting (June 2000)
Chandra science was the subject of a press conference held at the Rochester AAS meeting in early June. Three separate results were featured: evidence for the presence of a `hot bubble' at the core of a planetary nebula, the discovery of a tiny donut-shaped nebula around the famous Vela Pulsar, as well as high resolution details of the pulsar's x-ray jet and a larger, comet-shaped nebula, and the discovery of a very long X-ray emitting jet in the radio galaxy Pictor A.
Prof. Joel H. Kastner (RIT, astro-ph/0010167) led the team that discovered the hot bubble in the planetary nebula BD+30 3639. The team noted that hot bubbles have long been predicted by theorists; the 3 million degree gas bubble in BD+30 3639 detected with ACIS lies inside the shell of hot gas seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. It has a peculiar shape and contains elements produced in the core of the dying star.
Spectacular images of the Vela pulsar were presented in Rochester by George G. Pavlov (PSU). Showing an inner ring, linked by a jet to an outer ring, the image resembles a cosmic crossbow. The jet is aligned with the pulsar's direction of motion, and the rings are thought to represent shocked regions. Both ACIS and HRC observations of Vela contributed to these images.
A much larger jet in the radio galaxy Pictor A, that terminates in an X-ray hot spot over 800,000 light years away, was described by Andrew S. Wilson (U Maryland, astro-ph/0008467). ACIS data showed the jet had a very different profile and spectrum than expected, which may be suggestive of shocks alongside the jet that are accelerating particles in locations very far from the jet's origin. (See Science June 16, 288, 1961.)
Other Chandra results presented in Rochester included evidence from HETG/ACIS observations of a cloud in NGC 4151 that is being blasted by X-ray beams emanating from the central supermassive black hole (Ogle et al.), and evidence for cannibalism in Perseus A (Fabian et al., astro-ph/0007456), as ACIS images show the X-ray shadow of the smaller galaxy that is being devoured.
Other Chandra News
Brown dwarf X-ray flare seen: LP 944-20 emitted an X-ray flare that resembles those seen from the Sun, and is much stronger than the flares associated with planets such as Jupiter. ACIS observations by Rutledge et al. (ApJL 538, L141) provided the strongest evidence to date that brown dwarfs have magnetic fields; something that was hypothesized but not previously evident. The absence of detectable X-ray emission outside the flaring period showed that hot coronae do not exist in brown dwarfs with temperatures cooler than 2500 C. (See Science News Jul 29, 72; Science July 21, 289, 373)
Observations of Comet LINEAR: Oxygen and nitrogen ions were detected in ACIS observations of Comet LINEAR. The Chandra observations showed that the X-rays are produced by collisions of solar wind ions with gas in the comet. In the collision the solar ion captures an electron from a cometary atom into a high energy state. The solar ion then kicks out an X-ray as the electron drops to a lower energy state. LINEAR observations were part of a joint program with HST, led by Dr. Carey Lisse (STScI). (See IAU 7464.)
News from RXTE
More evidence for frame dragging: QPO sidebands discovered in RXTE data by Jonker et al (ApJL 540, L29) have provided a new scenario and additional evidence for dragging of the inertial frame by rotating neutron stars in 3 X-ray binaries. Neutron star frame dragging was originally proposed by Stella and Vietri (1998, ApJL 492, L59) as the explanation for some of the frequencies seen in the power spectra of neutron star binaries, and made headlines at the HEAD meeting in Estes Park. (See Science Sep 1, 289, 1448)
Youngest pulsar discovered: At ~700 years of age, Kes 75 appears to be the youngest pulsar known, according to Gotthelf et al. (ApJL 542, L37) who discovered X-ray pulsations from the object using data from RXTE. The pulsar has a period of 0.3 s, about a factor of ten slower than the Crab, which has an age of about 1000 years and was long believed to be the prototypical young pulsar. For details of the press report, see http://www.columbia.edu/cu/news/00/08/pulsar.html.
News from XMM
Although XMM is just starting its observational program, ESA has issued a few press releases, available through the News Archives link at the ESA/XMM web site:
http://sci.esa.int/home/xmm-newton/index. A number of other XMM related press releases were issued in conjunction with the X-ray Astronomy 2000 meeting in Palermo; unfortunately they are all in Italian, and therefore beyond the reporting ability of your HEAD Press officer. For more information about the meeting see http://www.astropa.unipa.it/EVENTS/XRAY2000/. Most of the first XMM science will be published in a special edition of Astronomy and Astrophysics: on October 1, forty-six papers based on XMM-Newton results were submitted for this special A&A issue.
Among the XMM-Newton science highlights is the creation of an "element map" of the Tycho supernova. The map shows that elements form in different parts of the exploding star, creating separate pockets of calcium, silicon, iron, etc. Previously, elements were thought to be evenly mixed in supernova remnants. The analysis of the Tycho observations is being done by a team led by Dr. Bernd Aschenbach (MPE Garching). Surprisingly, the shape of the SNR is not as spherical as was previously thought. The XMM Tycho story can be read at: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/supernova_blast_000920.html.
XMM also worked together with Chandra, RXTE, and Beppo-SAX on a series of calibration targets, to ensure that data from the different observatories could be cross-correlated. The blazar PKS 2155-304 and the famous quasar 3C273 were the subjects of many of these coordinated observations.
XMM has studied the Castor star system, which is composed of 3 binaries, with 3 distinct X-ray emitting components. Using all three EPIC cameras and both Reflection Grating Spectrometers (RGS), the observations were able to separate out the spectral lines from the different binary systems, and to conclusively identify X-ray emission from both binaries containing A-type stars (Castor A and B), as well as the binary containing the M-star YY Gem.
Finally, a new cluster of galaxies was discovered by XMM while peering through a region of the Milky Way. The large column through the plane of the galaxy had concealed the cluster from previous detection by ROSAT. The higher energy bandpass of XMM's EPIC cameras revealed the presence of iron emitting hot gas at a distance of 1 billion light years, and demonstrated the efficiency of XMM's instruments for mapping galaxy clusters.
More evidence for medium sized black holes:
New observations using ASCA (NGC 4395, Iwasawa et al.) and Chandra (M82, Matsumoto et al., astro-ph/0009250) have added to the evidence, first reported at the Charleston HEAD meeting, that black holes in galaxy centers may have masses in the range 1000 10,000 times solar. M82 was one of the objects that was featured at a press conference in Charleston, and the initial indications of its middleweight status came from ROSAT observations (Ptak et al. 1999, ApJL 517, L85).
GRB imaged by gravitational lens:
An unexpected brightening in the fading afterglow of GRB000301C has been interpreted as a gravitational lensing event by Garnevich et al. (astro-ph/0008049). The GRB was detected by the RXTE ASM, Ulysses and NEAR, and the afterglow observations were made with radio and optical telescopes. Lensing events are characterized by a lack of spectral changes, and this event fits the predictions made for an expanding ring, part of which is lensed by a star between the burst (located at a distance of about 10 billion light years) and the Earth. The authors claim that the width of the ring is between 7 and 20% of its radius. (See Science Oct 6, 290, 26)
X-ray Interferometry Successfully Demonstrated:
Using a tabletop prototype at Marshall Space Flight Center that included four flat mirrors, Webster Cash (University of Colorado at Boulder) and his colleagues have shown the feasibility of X-ray interferometry- a new technique that could someday increase the resolution of X-ray telescopes to a factor of 300,000 times better than the Hubble Space Telescope (See Cash et al., Nature, 407, 160). If fully implemented, X-ray interferometry will allow images of the event horizons around black holes and will thereby test predictions of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity under the most extreme gravity fields known. It can also be used to study the environments of pulsars, resolve relativistic blast waves, watch the physical formation of astrophysical jets, and study the dynamos of stellar coronae. X-ray interferometry is under consideration for use in the future MAXIM Pathfinder and MAXIM missions. For additional information on X-ray interferometry, see http://casa.colorado.edu/~wcash/interf/Interfere.htm. For more information on MAXIM on the Web, see http://maxim.gsfc.nasa.gov.
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8. HEAD Sessions at San Diego AAS Meeting -
Josh Grindlay, HEAD Vice-Chair, Center for Astrophysics
The program for the HEAD sessions at the January 2001 meeting of the AAS in San Diego has been set. The HEAD sessions will be held on Wednesday, January 10, 2001. See the final AAS program for times and rooms.
Morning session (10:30 - 12:00)
HEAD I: High Resolution Views of Compact Objects
The high resolution x-ray imaging enabled by Chandra and high resolution x-ray spectra from both Chandra and XMM-Newton are revealing striking new views of compact objects and constraints on neutron stars to massive black holes. Talks will include new results on the pulsar-supernova connection; x-ray spectroscopy of x-ray binaries vs. AGN; and new evidence for massive stellar black holes in external galaxies.
1. Jack Hughes, Rutgers Univ.: Chandra Views of the Supernova Remnant / Compact Object Connection
2. Chris Mauche, Lawrence Livermore Lab: High-Resolution Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray Spectroscopy of the Intermediate Polar EX Hydrae
3. John Raymond, CfA: X-ray Spectra of Accretion Flows and Coronae
4. Martin Ward, Leicester Univ. UK: Intermediate Mass Black Holes in Galaxies
HEAD Business Meeting (12:30 - 1:30)
Reports by HEAD Officers
HEAD Election Results
Announcement of 2001 Rossi Prize Winner
Other HEAD Business
Afternoon session (1:30 - 3:00)
HEAD II: High Energy Constraints on Extended Structures
New x-ray and gamma-ray observations and theory are sharpening our understanding of diffuse cosmic structures on a range of scales. High resolution x-ray spectra and images are constraining cooling flows in galaxy clusters and, with hard x-ray/gamma-ray spectra, both the dense central obscuring gas and extended jets in many active galactic nuclei; and high resolution x-ray vs. radio images are providing direct measures of the S-Z effect for measurement of both cosmological parameters as well as cluster evolution. Talks will include these topics as well as prospects for measuring the structure of the hot IGM from deep surveys.
1. Andrew Wilson, Univ. Maryland: Chandra Studies of Extended X-rays in Radio and Seyfert Galaxies
2. Frits Paerels, Columbia Univ.: Soft X-ray Spectroscopy of Cooling Flows with XMM-Newton/RGS
3. Joe Mohr, Illinois Univ.: Galaxy Clusters as Cosmological Probes
4. Guenther Hasinger, Potsdam: Deep Surveys with XMM and Chandra
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9. News from NASA Headquarters -
Paul Hertz, HEAD Secretary-Treasurer, NASA Headquarters
Chandra Cycle 3 announcement expected in December
NASA plans to release the third call for Chandra general observing proposals in December 2000. This call will also solicit archival research proposals. Selections from Cycle 2 were announced this fall. Chandra observing time was oversubscribed by a factor of 6.2 in Cycle 2. Proposals were received from PI's in 23 countries, and 186 of 732 proposals were selected in part or in whole. Of the 186 accepted proposals, 6 were archive proposals, 8 were large projects, and 6 were joint Hubble/Chandra proposals. The complete list of targets accepted for Cycle 2 may be found at http://asc.harvard.edu/targetlists.html.
High energy missions extended after Senior Review
NASA held its biannual Senior Review of mission operations and data analysis for astrophysics missions in June. The Senior Review is a comparative review of all operating astrophysics missions seeking increases or extensions in their mission funding. This year's review included ten missions and six data services. High energy missions fared well: XMM-Newton, RXTE, and HETE-2 were among the highest ranked missions based on science value. HEASARC was the highest ranked data archive. All of these projects received augmentations and/or extensions for FY01-04. The complete report of the 2000 Senior Review for Astrophysics may be found at http://spacescience.nasa.gov/codesr/.
Call for participation in the National Virtual Observatory
The recent National Academy of Science report, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium, recommended a National Virtual Observatory (NVO) as the most important small initiative in astronomy for the 2001-2010 timeframe. The NASA Office of Space Science (OSS) intends to establish a Virtual Observatory (VO) initiative to respond to this recommendation. OSS seeks representatives from the community to serve on the VO Science Definition Team, which will be chartered to provide science guidance and oversight during the definition phase. OSS is also seeking Concept Papers and other forms of general response from the community for OSS to consider in defining and establishing the VO initiative. See http://spacescience.nasa.gov/research/open.htm. Deadline: November 30, 2000.
SMEX selections announced
NASA has made selections in the Explorer Program from the 46 proposals submitted in response to a recent Announcement of Opportunity for Small Explorers (SMEX) and Missions of Opportunity. Seven SMEX proposals and one Mission of Opportunity proposal were selected for concept studies, and one Mission of Opportunity proposal was selected for flight. The seven SMEX's selected for study are the Heavy Nuclei Explorer (HNX), the mission for Spectroscopy and Photometry of the Intergalactic Medium's Diffuse Radiation (SPIDR), the Satellite Test of the Equivalence Principle (STEP), Joule, Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM), the Jupiter Magnetospheric Explorer (JMEX), and the Primordial Explorer (PRIME). The eight missions selected for study will begin a six month concept study in October 2001. After a thorough evaluation of the results of Phase A studies has been completed, NASA expects to select two SMEX missions for launch in 2004 and 2005. Further information, including descriptions of all selected missions, is available at http://spacescience.nasa.gov/codesr/smex/.
High Energy Astrophysics SR&T selections announced
NASA has made selections in the High Energy Astrophysics Program for supporting research and technology (SR&T). The change in the program from solicitations once every three years to annual solicitations has resulted in fewer selections than in the past. Abstracts for the 14 selected proposals may be found at http://spacescience.nasa.gov/codesr/results/ross2000/HEAabstracts.html.
Japan seeking approval for Astro-E2; NASA studying collaboration
The loss of Astro-E in February dealt a serious blow to the international science community. The unique observational capabilities of Astro-E, including the NASA provided XRS microcalorimeter and XRT foil mirror telescope, will not be replaced by any other approved mission. Scientists in Japan have been successful in pursuing approval for an Astro-E2 mission. This mission was recently approved by the Japanese Ministry of Education and is now expected to be approved by the Ministry of Finance no later than this December for a new start in April 2001. The planned launch date is January/February 2005. The XRS/XRT team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center proposed flying copies of the XRS and XRT as a SMEX mission called Joule; Joule was selected for a SMEX concept study. The GSFC team (PI: Rich Kelley) is currently studying the possibility of implementing the Joule science mission by collaborating with the Japanese on Astro-E2.
Call for ACCESS instruments planned for 2001
ACCESS is a cosmic ray detector to be launched and attached to the International Space Station in 2007 to help us understand the origin, variety, distribution and life span of elementary particles in our galaxy. NASA plans to solicit proposals for ACCESS instruments in the Summer of 2001, with selections in the Fall of 2001. A draft announcement of opportunity is planned for late in 2000. Information on the ACCESS mission may be found at http://lheawww.gsfc.nasa.gov/ACCESS/.
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10. April 2001 Meeting of the APS in Washington, DC -
Chuck Dermer, Naval Research Laboratory
Some of the best contemporary physics and astrophysics will be presented at The American Physical Society meeting, which will take place April 28th through May 1, 2001 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC.
This is an excellent opportunity to learn the latest results in a wide range of topics inside and outside of astrophysics, and to present your own research. Scheduled plenary talks include Dr. Andrew Lange on the Boomerang Experiment, Dr. Steve Murray on the Chandra results, Professor James Drake on magnetic reconnection, and Dr. Maria Spiropulu on extra dimensions.
The Division of Astrophysics will host or co-host with other Divisions the following invited sessions:
Saturday AM, Cosmic Rays: From the Knee to the Ankle and Beyond
Saturday PM, Birth and Coalescence of Black Holes
Sunday AM, Origin of the Elements
Sunday PM, How Galaxies Form and Evolve
Monday AM, Energetic Processes in the Solar Atmosphere
Monday PM, The Highest Energy Photons in Nature
Tuesday AM, The X/Gamma-Ray Connection
Tuesday PM, Infrared Astronomy and the Orion Nebula
Contributed talks and posters on these and all other topics within astrophysics are welcome. The abstract deadline is 12 January, and abstracts can be submitted via the APS web site, http://abstracts.aps.org. Registration and housing for the meeting can be arranged through http://www.aps.org/meet/APR01/index.html.
Special Opportunity for Graduate Students: Some of the sessions of contributed talks will feature graduate students reporting on their thesis work, with partial travel grants for the speakers. Awards will be given for the best student talk and poster. Encourage your students to participate in this opportunity.
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11. News from the Chandra X-ray Observatory -
Belinda Wilkes, Center for Astrophysics
General Science Status
During the first year of science operations with Chandra, approximately 700 observations of science targets were successfully completed. A recent check of Astro-ph indicates approximately 70 papers have been submitted to and/or published in refereed journals. The Chandra Public Outreach site (http://chandra.harvard.edu) contains 39 Chandra images and links to 32 Chandra Science Press Releases to date, including 3 space science updates on NASA TV. Since launch the public web-site has seen more than 42 million visits (> 2 million per month).
The CXO spacecraft subsystems continue to operate nominally as they have throughout the program to date. Occasional glitches - e.g. what appears to be failures of two microswitches indicting the extreme (e.g. "out") positions of the high energy transmission gratings, have not prevented science activities due to the robust design of the Observatory which allows alternative methods of operation. Work continues towards characterizing the charged-particle traps in the radiation-affected front-illuminated CCDs to investigate the viability of methods of improving the energy resolution. The energy resolution of the back-illuminated devices continues to be unimpaired.
Cycle 3 NRA Schedule
The preliminary schedule for Chandra Cycle 3 is as follows:
NRA Release: 15 Dec 2000
Proposal Deadline: 15 March 2001
Peer Review Dates: 18-20 June 2001
Results announced: 2 July 2001
The dates are earlier than originally anticipated to ensure that Cycle 3 targets are approved, reviewed and planned before we conclude the observations of targets allocated in Cycle 2.
Chandra Interactive Analysis of Observations (CIAO) 2.0 Release News
The Chandra X-ray Center is pleased to announce version 2.0 of the CIAO (Chandra Interactive Analysis of Observations) software package. Final testing and packing are in progress and it is expected to be distributed in Beta form for Solaris on or around November 1st. A full release for both Solaris and Linux is anticipated for December 1st.
CIAO2.0 is a major milestone for the Chandra community. Combined with the reprocessed data now becoming available, and a complete set of calibration files in CALDB format, many of the early complexities of Chandra data analysis will be replaced with simpler procedures.
Some of the major new CIAO features are:
- Sherpa enhancements include robust optimization methods, improved error calculations, and new save/restore features, as well as several options for analyzing grating data, e.g. enhanced analysis of type 2 pha files, analysis in wavelength or energy space, use of multiple backgrounds, background modeling, as well as beta version of GUIDE (Grating User Interactive Data Extension) and S-lang.
- GUIDE is designed for high resolution spectral analysis (e.g. line identification). GUIDE works with the line lists and emissivities created by APEC, the successor code to Raymond-Smith. [Which is backwards-compatible with earlier models, e.g. MEKAL.]
- S-lang provides a scripting language that allows users to create personalized data analysis routines within Sherpa and Chips, via common programming control features, interactive access to data structures, and the ability to define variables and functions.
- The datamodel I/O library, underlying all CIAO tools, now supports advanced filtering (e.g. multiple conditions, data flags).
- Upgraded event processing tools use the latest calibrations and include newly discovered instrumental effects.
- Better response tools help users fit spectral features and flat field their observations. The number of RMF files for ACIS has been reduced from over 4000 to 4 (1 per temperature). [The true number of RMFs has not changed, but they have been packaged more cleverly to reduce overhead for users.]
- More utilities help users view and manipulate their data.
- Source detection tools now deal with exposure variations across the field.
- Enhanced online help ("ahelp") which now includes context, and cross-references; and new thread-based guides (on the WWW).
The first external release of the Chandra Calibration Database (CALDB 2.0) and the release of the Atomic Data Base will accompany the CIAO 2.0 release. These calibrations provide the most up-to-date understanding of the current state of the various system on board the CXO spacecraft.
These tools and calibrations together with the latest reprocessed data should accelerate and expand the scientific possibilities of Chandra datasets. CIAO2.0 will initially be distributed for Solaris and various Linux platforms. A port for the Alpha is in the works and is expected after Jan 1st 2001. Please check the CXC home pages at http://cxc.harvard.edu/ and select "Data Analysis" (direct link: http://asc.harvard.edu/ciao/) for further information. CIAO2.0 is a collaborative effort between the CXC Science Data Systems, the CXC Data Systems, and MIT/CXC personnel.
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12. Chandra Fellowship Program Application Deadline -
Nancy Remage Evans, Center for Astrophysics
Applications for the 2001 Chandra Fellowship Program are due November 16, 2000. The Chandra Fellowship Program is open to applicants of any nationality who earn doctoral degrees between January 1, 1998, and September 1, 2001, in astronomy, physics, or related disciplines. The program provides 2-3 year fellowships carried out at a host institution in the United States for research on topics related to the Chandra X-ray Observatory satellite program.
The Announcement of Opportunity for the Fellowship Program, which includes detailed policies, application instructions, and forms, is available on the World Wide Web at http://asc.harvard.edu/fellows/Chandra_fellow.2001.html.
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13. Update on the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer -
Tod Strohmayer, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
This is a brief update on the status of the RXTE mission, including a summary of recent events of importance to the mission as well as guest observers. RXTE was among the most highly ranked missions in NASA's senior review of ongoing programs carried out this summer. RXTE was among the two most highly ranked missions in 'science per dollar'. RXTE was also ranked highly for the potential to obtain valuable science results in the future. Its discoveries have inspired theoretical work aimed at understanding the new phenomena discovered and these have led to proposals to make additional observations to resolve outstanding uncertainties about the interpretations. Our proposal to the senior review was built on contributions from the RXTE User's Group (RUG) and in addition there was a presentation to the senior review team at which the Chair of the RUG, Fred Lamb, with back-up from Michael Nowak, ably fielded questions, and we particularly thank them.
RXTE's success owes much to the observers who propose for and thus determine the RXTE observing program. We thank all the researchers who have continued to make the mission a success. We hope all of you will continue to think about and propose new RXTE observations while still studying the data you may already have. Speaking of proposals, the RXTE AO6 review was recently held from October 10-11 at the University of Maryland. A total of 156 proposals were received with a factor of 2.5 oversubscription for non-TOO time. This included a number of very large observing programs which have been encouraged in the last few AOs. Proposers will be receiving their notification letters within the next few weeks.
RXTE continues to operate as it has during the past year. The RXTE operations have achieved a high degree of automation, and various processes have been streamlined, with the aim of maintaining capabilities as much as possible. The loss of use of one of the two high gain antennas over a year ago makes it more difficult to follow up transient alerts quickly, but tools have been developed to minimize the time it takes and very quick follow-ups can sometimes be achieved. A week's worth of attitude data from this September awaits reconstruction, but the cause has been traced to confusion of two close stars, rather than any hardware problem. Since the last newsletter RXTE has observed transient outbursts of EXO 1745-248, Terzan 6, 4U 0115+63, the Rapid Burster, and Aql X-1.
A number of new RXTE discoveries have made the news in the past few months. Peter Jonker, Michiel van der Klis (University of Amsterdam), and Mariano Mendez (Observatorio Astronomico La Plata, Argentina) reported the discovery of sidebands to the kilohertz quasiperiodic oscillations (QPOs) in several neutron star low mass X-ray binary systems. The work was featured in a New York Times article in the Tuesday 'Science Times' section for August 29, 2000. For more information you can read the NASA press release on the web at ftp://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/PAO/Releases/2000/00-94.htm. Eric Gotthelf and his colleagues at Columbia University reported the discovery with RXTE of the youngest pulsar known. The pulsar resides in the supernova remnant Kes 75, and the RXTE data indicate it is younger, spinning more slowly and more strongly magnetic than the Crab pulsar. For details you can read the press release at ftp://pao.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/PAO/Releases/2000/00-98.htm. At the Rochester AAS meeting Tod Strohmayer (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center) and Alaa Ibrahim (George Washington University) reported the first discovery of an emission line in a spectrum of a Soft Gamma-ray Repeater (SGR) burst. The line was observed in a burst from SGR 1900+14 and might be an indication of the magnetar nature of SGRs. You can read about it in the press release at ftp://pao.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/PAO/Releases/2000/00-61.htm. These stories as well as links to additional images and information can also be found at http://universe.gsfc.nasa.gov/press/.
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14. Swift Mission News -
Lynn Cominsky, Sonoma State University
Swift achieved a major milestone in May, when all three instruments were approved at the project Science Readiness Review, i.e., no "show stoppers" were identified that could delay the mission. A Swift Science Team meeting was also held in May, in Milan, Italy, homebase of many of the Swift collaborators. The Swift project is now ramping up, and construction of the instruments is beginning. Formal project confirmation by NASA Headquarters is expected in November.
Swift Education and Public Outreach is also ramping up. At the annual meeting of the California Science Teacher's Association, held in Sacramento in October, E/PO director Laura Whitlock (SSU) presented workshops to ~50 teachers that featured gamma-ray bursts. And the first gamma-ray astronomy web chat was held through the NASA Quest program (which is sponsored by NASA Ames Research Center). The first chat featured Swift scientist Kevin Hurley (UC Berkeley), and was moderated by Lynn Cominsky (SSU). Future Quest Chats will occur on the fourth Wednesday of each month, at 10 AM Pacific Time, and will alternate between Swift and GLAST scientists. In order to try to involve greater audience participation, future chats are being advertised on both the Swift and GLAST website home pages, as well as through the NASA/GSFC Imagine the Universe! website.
Additional educator workshops will be held in Hawaii, at the upcoming HEAD meeting. The Swift gamma-ray burst workshop will be offered to local teachers, as well as another workshop about RXTE science. And the HEAD meeting will also showcase the new Swift and GLAST exhibit booths.
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15. GLAST Update -
Don Kniffen, NASA Headquarters
GLAST activities have evolved at a rapid pace since the selection of flight instruments and interdisciplinary scientists earlier this year. The Science Working Group (SWG) has been formed with GLAST Project Scientist Jonathan Ormes of GSFC as chairman. There have been two meetings and telephone conference calls that have focused on finalizing and formalizing the Science Requirement Document (SRD). The SRD forms the basis for higher level requirements on the mission. It also serves as the basis for developing the spacecraft and mission requirements.
NASA and DOE have made significant progress in developing an Implementing Arrangement which defines the terms and conditions of their joint activities and responsibilities for the Large Area Telescope (LAT) Project on the GLAST Mission.
The Mission has undergone two reviews, one by the NASA Independent Assessment Team, chartered by NASA's Chief Engineer, and the System Requirements Review conducted by GSFC's Systems Review Office. Although final reports are pending, no major problems are anticipated from the reports.
Two major decisions have been made since the instrument selection. They are (1) to place the GLAST Science Support Center at GSFC, and (2) to include a propulsion system on the spacecraft. The latter decision is based on NASA safety standards for re-entering spacecraft.
Budget considerations for the NASA Office of Space Science have resulted in some discussion of a possible launch delay from the September 1, 2005 planned launch date. A maximum six-month delay is under consideration.
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16. INTEGRAL Cycle 1 Observing Proposals Solicited -
Christoph Winkler, ESA/ESTEC
ESA is planning to release the AO-1 for observing proposals with INTEGRAL on 01 November 2000. Proposals would be due 16 February 2001. AO documentation and proposal submission and support software will be made available via the INTEGRAL WWW. Please check http://astro.estec.esa.nl/Integral/isoc for details.
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17. Comments Solicited Concerning Physical Review Letters -
Virginia Trimble, University of Maryland
The American Physical Society is currently reviewing the extent to which Physical Review Letters serves the needs and desires of the scientific community. One of the topics covered is "Gravitation and Astrophysics." If you have any comments on the range of topics covered or the quality of the letters published could you please send them to Virginia Trimble (who moonlights as chair of the Division of Astrophysics of APS).
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18. Symposium Announcement: "New Century of X-ray Astronomy"
6-8 March 2001, Yokohama, Japan -
Hajime Inoue, Institute of Space and Astronautical Science
The second announcement of the X-ray symposium entitled "New Century of X-ray Astronomy", to be held March 6-8, 2001, at Yokohama, Japan, is available at http://www.astro.isas.ac.jp/conference/newcentx/. Two subjects will be the major goals of the symposium. One is to summarize current knowledge, which is based on both theoretical and observational work, previous observations in X-rays and other wave bands, and especially observations with the new X-ray missions. Some problems will be answered by current missions but more questions are emerging from the new results. The second theme is the science to be explored by programs in the new century and the technological breakthroughs necessary to enable new approaches. The tentative program and the list of invited speakers are available on the symposium homepage. As the first X-ray symposium of the 21st century, we will map out the course of science and technology for X-ray astronomy into the new century.
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19. Symposium Announcement: "The High Energy Universe at Sharp Focus: Chandra Science"
16-18 July 2001, St. Paul, Minnesota -
Eric Schlegel, Center for Astrophysics
We are pleased to announce plans for a Chandra science symposium to be held in St. Paul, Minnesota, 16-18 July 2001, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. This meeting is organized by the Chandra X-ray Center, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the University of Minnesota. A link to the meeting site is available at http://asc.harvard.edu/.
This meeting will highlight key science results from the first two years of operation of the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Results from nearly every astrophysical topic will be covered including stellar coronae, star formation, compact objects, AGN, quasars, supernova remnants, clusters of galaxies, solar system objects, and the resolution of the origin of the X-ray background.
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20. CHIANTI Database Extended -
Ken Dere, Naval Research Laboratory
We would like to announce the release of Version 3.0 of the CHIANTI database for astrophysical spectroscopy. This release extends CHIANTI into the X-ray wavelength region between 1 and 50 Angstroms.
This has largely been accomplished by including the necessary atomic data for the hydrogen- and helium-like isoelectronic sequences and their satellites. In addition, the atomic data for a number of other ions has also been updated and revised.
The best way to access CHIANTI is through our WWW page: http://wwwsolar.nrl.navy.mil/chianti.html.
In order to include the satellite lines, it has been necessary to modify the IDL procedures that calculate spectral lines intensities. Consequently, it is necessary to download both the new data files and the new set of IDL procedures.
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HEADNEWS, the electronic newsletter of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society, is issued twice yearly by the HEAD Secretary-Treasurer. The HEAD Executive Committee Members are: