Newsletter No. 98, June 2011

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8. INTEGRAL Mission News - Christoph Winkler (ESA-ESTEC) and Steve Sturner (NASA GSFC)

The spacecraft, payload and ground segment are performing nominally. Routine annealing #17 of the SPI detectors has been performed from 26 April to 13 May.

A formal request by the Project Scientist to extend the INTEGRAL mission operations until 31 December 2014, subject to a usual mid-term status review in Fall 2012, has been approved by the ESA scientific advisory structure.

The AO-8 observing cycle has commenced on 1 January 2011 as planned; see the long-term observing plan at
Funding for US INTEGRAL GOs was included in the 2011 NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Programme.

The INTEGRAL AO-9 for observing proposals was released on 7 March 2011. The proposal submission deadline for the 9th INTEGRAL AO was on 15 April 2010. ISOC received 49 proposals including 18 for long exposures above 1 Ms each and 25 for ToOs. Among the 18 long exposure proposals are 4 multi-year proposals, first submitted in AO-8, now re-confirmed for AO-9 and to be continued in AO-9 if approved, as well as 4 new multi-year proposals (for AO-9 and AO-10). The total requested observing time – including ToOs weighted with 10% - amounts to 70 Ms, resulting in an over-subscription in time by a factor of 2.9. The TAC meeting took place 6-9 June 2011 at ESAC/Madrid (Spain) to peer review the submitted proposals and to recommend an AO-9 observing programme to ESA for approval. The AO-9 cycle of observations will start on 1 January 2012.
The supplementary AO-9 Call for associated data-right proposals will be released on 5 September 2011, with a deadline of 14 October 2011. All accepted AO-9 observations (except ToO) will be open to the science community to propose for accessing data on sources contained in the FOV of the accepted observations.

Some recent scientific highlights since the last report (Nov 2010) include:

Positron annihilation spectrum from the Galactic Centre region observed by SPI/INTEGRAL revisited: annihilation in a cooling ISM?
E. Churazov et al., MNRAS 411, 1727-1743 (2011)

Polarized gamma-ray emission from the galactic black hole Cygnus X-1.
P. Laurent et al., published online in Science Express, 24 March 2011. DOI: 10.1126/science.1200848

Interstellar gamma rays and cosmic rays: new insights from Fermi-LAT and INTEGRAL
A.W. Strong et al., arXiv: 1101.1381 (2011)

IGR J16328-4726: a new candidate Supergiant Fast X-ray Transient
M. Fiocchi et al., ApJ 725, L68 (2010)

Radioactive 26Al from the Scorpius-Centaurus Association
R. Diehl et al., A&A 522, A51 (2010)

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