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Chandra Electronic Bulletin No. 90
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             |              ccc  XX   XX    OOO           |
Chandra      |             CC     XX XX    OO OO          | CXC
Electronic   |            CC       XXX    OO   OO         | Number 90
Bulletin     |             CC     XX XX    OO OO          | December
             |              CCC  XX   XX    OOO           | 2009
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   Welcome to the Chandra X-ray Center's Electronic News Bulletin

Number 90.

    CXC Web site: cxc.harvard.edu

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    1.  Chandra Cycle 12 Call for Proposals
    2.  CIAO 4.2 and CALDB 4.2.0 released 15 December  2009


    Item 1.  Chandra Cycle 12 Call for Proposals

     The CXC is pleased to announce the release of the Chandra Cycle 12 Call
     for  Proposals (CfP). The Call for Proposals, the Proposers'
     Observatory Guide (POG),  proposal planning software,
     and general information are posted on the "Proposer" web page
     at the CXC website:


     Proposals are due: 18 March 2010

     Hardcopy documents are available on request to the CXC helpdesk.

    Belinda Wilkes
    Assistant Director
    Chandra X-ray Center (CXC)


    Item 2.  CIAO 4.2 and CALDB 4.2.0 released 15 December 2009

    The Chandra X-ray Center (CXC) is pleased to announce that version 4.2
    of CIAO ("Chandra Interactive Analysis of Observations") and version
    4.2.0 of CALDB ("Calibration Database") are available for download from:

    The CIAO 4.2 software requires CALDB 4.2.0 to work correctly.

    For the first time it is possible to customize the CIAO software
    installation by downloading and installing only specific CIAO

    CIAO and CALDB installation or upgrade are now greatly simplified and
    automated by the new ciao-install script generated based on selections
    from the download page.
    The script will download all the necessary CIAO and CALDB files, and
    then automatically install them. The download procedure no-longer
    requires you to register before being able to install CIAO.


    Notable changes and improvements in CIAO 4.2:

    * the Sherpa modeling and fitting package has a number of
    enhancements including a new algorithm for calculating confidence,
    simulations to probe model parameter space and calculate flux
    uncertainties, full support for wavelength analysis, and a "save_all"
    command to save the session in ASCII format. It also has capabilities
    to run parallel processing.
    * the ChIPS plotting application includes beta support for displaying
    images and colorbars, as well as the ability to create an editable
    ASCII save file.
    * one new tool - create_bkg_map - enables users to create
    spatial background maps equivalent to those in the Chandra Source
    Catalog and is useful for source detection and for detection
    sensitivity maps.
    * acis_build_badpix allows users more control over customizing the bad
    pixel files.
    * hrc_process_events, combined with files released in CALDB 4.2.0, can
    apply time-variable gain calibrations. Using the gain-corrected PI
    values can reduce the background.
    * tg_create_mask has improved the custom mask settings.
    * ciao-install script and ability to customize the CIAO installation
    * 64-bit versions of CIAO for the Linux and OS-X Intel platforms are
    provided as beta-releases.
    * all the enhancements and bug fixes to the CIAO tools.

    Read the complete CIAO 4.2 release notes, including the section "How
    CIAO 4.2 and CALDB 4.2.0 Affect Your Analysis" at:

    *NOTE ON CIAO3.4:*

    While the CIAO3.4 software and webpage are still available, no further
    support or updates are planned.

    Note also that CALDB 4.2.0 is not supported by CIAO3.4 and CALDB 3.5.5
    (released on 18 Sep 2009) is the last planned update to CALDB 3.5.
    CALDB 3.5.5 does *not* contain the latest calibration updates included
    in CALDB 4.2.0


    CIAO 4.2 is distributed for the following platforms:

    * Solaris 10 (SunOS5.10)
    * Linux 32-bit and 64-bit
    * Mac OS X 10.4 PowerPC 32-bit
    * Mac OS X Intel 10.5 and 10.6 32-bit and 64-bit

    More details at http://cxc.harvard.edu/ciao/download/platforms.html

    *NOTE ON MAC OSX 10.4 PPC:* This will be the last CIAO release for the
    Mac PowerPC platform.

    *NOTE ON 64-BIT PACKAGES:* The 64-bit CIAO builds are beta releases.
    They have been tested extensively, but users may still run into bugs.
    Concerned users can install the 32-bit builds on 64-bit machines (which
    is the default). Installation of 64-bit binaries can only be done
    through custom installation.


    In tandem with CIAO 4.2 is the release of the Chandra Calibration
    Database version 4.2.0. CALDB 4.2.0 is a major upgrade to all previous
    CALDB versions 4.1.x and includes the following:

    * ACIS T_GAIN Epoch 39 (01 August through 31 October 2009)
    * A new model for the ACIS time-dependent QE degradation (CONTAM) for
    observations taken since 2005.
    * Improved gain map images (GMAPs) for HRC-I based on the SUMAMPs
    metric. Requires CIAO 4.2 or later version to run properly. A new RMF
    for these new gains is also included.
    * SAMP-based time-dependent gain map for HRC-S. A corresponding new
    TGPIMASK2 filter file is included, for HRC-S background subtraction.
    Requires CIAO 4.2 or later version.
    * HRC-S QE and QEU upgrades.
    * A corrected HRC-I PHA-based RMF, with a new EBOUNDS extension that
    contains the appropriate energy range for analysis of current HRC-I
    archival data, without reprocessing with the new SAMP gain maps.

    Detailed information can be found in the Chandra
    Calibration Database website at http://cxc.harvard.edu/caldb/


    As always please send questions and requests for enhancements to the CXC
    HELPDESK (http://cxc.harvard.edu/helpdesk/).

    CIAO 4.2 is a collaborative effort between the SAO/CXC Science Data
    Systems, the SAO/CXC Data Systems, and MIT/CXC personnel.

    Antonella Fruscione (for the CIAO development team)


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Last modified: 12/03/10

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