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INTEGRAL News archive for 2010
INTEGRAL revolution # 1000
22 December 2010 INTEGRAL is currently (until 24 December 2010) in its revolution # 1000.
Well done, INTEGRAL !
AO-8 Data Right Proposals approved
23 November 2010 The ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration, Prof. David Southwood, has approved the recommendation of the Time Allocation Committee (TAC) for proposals to obtain data rights for targets within approved AO-8 observations. The proposers have been informed about the TAC decision and about the detailed data rights obtained. An overview of successful proposals can be found here.
TOO observations on the blazar 3C 454.3
23 November 2010 INTEGRAL is currently observing the blazar 3C 454.3 in outburst, in revolutions 990 and 991. The source is currently bright in the INTEGRAL instruments.
INTEGRAL mission extended
18 November 2010 At their 130th meeting on 18/19 November 2010 ESA's Science Programme Committee unanimously approved an extension of INTEGRAL operations until 31 December 2012. They also approved an indicative extension until 31 December 2014, subject to a mid-term review in 2012 on the regular two-year cicle.
Further details of the outcome of this meeting can be found at http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMR1MIRPGG_index_0.html
AO-8 Data Right Proposals - results
26 October 2010 During the call for Data Right Proposals (deadline 8 October 2010) the ISOC system received 60 valid proposals, requesting 457 targets in total. As expected, the large majority of requests was for Compact Objects. Technical evaluation is ongoing, the Time Allocation Committee will decide on the proposals by November 2010.
TOO observations on the flaring quasar PKS 1830-211
22 October 2010 A bright gamma-ray outburst of the peculiar quasar PKS 1830-211 has been observed by Fermi/LAT on 14 October 2010. The source has remained bright and thus an INTEGRAL TOO observation has been scheduled for revolution 981, starting on 25 October, 18:40 UT.
Another TOO on MAXI J1659-152!
13 October 2010 A third sequence of TOO observations will be performed on the Galactic hard X-ray transient MAXI J1659-152. Observations will be conducted in revolution 977, starting this evening, from about UT 20 hrs. This plot shows the summary of the simultaneous observations performed so far on the source with RXTE, Swift, Suzaku, XMM-Newton and INTEGRAL.
Next SPI annealing period
7 October 2010 In order to maintain the SPI high spectral resolution, a new SPI annealing period has been planned. The 15th annealing will start in Revolution 976 (i.e., October 10, 2010) and will have a duration of about 6 revolutions, until Revolution 981 (October 28). Both JEM-X units will be operating.
More TOOs: MAXI J1659-152
27 September 2010 TOO observations on the Galactic hard X-ray transient (MAXI J1659-152) discovered by MAXI (ATel #2873) and detected by INTEGRAL during the Galactic Bulge monitoring program (ATel #2875) will be conducted in revolutions 971-972.
Observations will start this evening, from about UT 19 hrs.
TOO observations on the Crab
22 September 2010 INTEGRAL reacted to the alert that AGILE detected increased gamma-ray flux from the Crab (ATel #2855). Observations will start this evening, from about UT 21 hrs.
The data are made public and are thus open for analysis to anyone interested! The near-real-time data can be downloaded from the ISDC. Once processed by the ISDC the consolidated data can also be downloaded from the public available area.
15 September 2010 Today, INTEGRAL detected GRB 100915B (GCN #11278)during a Crab calibration observation (ID 8860214) in revolution 0967. The GRB was detected at about 5.5 degrees off from the nominal pointing.
Since the Crab calibration data are public, the data on this GRB are as well, and are thus open for analysis to anyone interested! The near-real-time data can be downloaded from the ISDC. Once processed by the ISDC the consolidated data can also be downloaded from the public available area.
INTEGRAL AO-8 Call for Data Right Proposals is open!
30 August 2010 Today, the Director of Science and Robotic Exploration (Prof. David Southwood) has released the 8th Announcement of Opportunity for data right proposals with INTEGRAL.
INTEGRAL AO-8 General Programme approved
25 June 2010 The INTEGRAL AO-8 General Programme, as recommended by the Time Allocation Committee (TAC) and approved on the 15th of June by the ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration (Prof. David Southwood), has been released and the observers have been informed.
Integral SPI detector failure
7 June 2010 An anomaly on SPI Ge Detector #1 occurred on May 27. The failure occurred 31 hours after radiation belt exit (at an altitude of 158000km) and approximately 6 weeks after the end of the last annealing. The MOC and SPI teams are still investigating the anomaly, but the chance of any recovery is slight.
Four Germanium detectors out of nineteen have failed, resulting in a decrease of the scientific performance by 12% with respect to the full detector configuration. Detector #2 failed on 06/12/2003; detector #17 on 17/07/2004; detector #5 on 19/02/2009 and detector #1 on 27/05/2010.
8th Announcement of Opportunity (AO-8): preliminary statistics
29 April 2010 The deadline for the submission of proposals for AO-8 open time observations was on 23 April 2010, and all proposals are in the ISOC database. Below are some preliminary statistics on the proposals that have been received.
Total number of proposals
The total number of proposals received is 64. The total observing time requested is about 91 Msec (for all types of observation, i.e. fixed time, normal time, and ToO). Here, 10% of the requested total ToO time has been taken into account. Given that up to about 24 Msec of observing time are available for the AO-8 observing programme (12 months duration starting on 01 January 2011), this corresponds to an oversubscription by a factor of 3.8. This is again a high value, showing the continued high interest of the scientific community in the INTEGRAL mission.
Proposals per category
In the following table we give the breakdown of number of proposals as a function of the proposal category. Note that the numbers on requested observing times do include ToO proposals, but it has been assumed here, that a typical ToO proposal requests about 10% of its total observing time as entered into PGT from all the candidate sources included in a ToO proposal.
The Time Allocation Committee, will peer review early June all proposals and recommend a scientific observing programme to ESA. Following this meeting, ESA will announce the approved observing program for the AO-8 cycle of observations.
A second Call within this AO-8 will be released on 30 August, inviting proposals on individual point sources or selected sky areas (for diffuse emission studies) to be associated as "data-right proposals" with the selected observations, excluding TOO observations. The deadline for submission of data rights proposal will be 08 October 2010.
2010 Zeldovich Medal for Vito Sguera
28 April 2010 On 01 April 2010, the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) has decided to present the 2010 Zeldovich Medal for COSPAR Scientific Commission E (Research in Astrophysics from Space) to Dr. Vito Sguera (Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale & Fisica Cosmica, Bologna, Italy). The Zeldovich Medal is given to young scientists who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in their field of research.
The presentation of the award will take place at the inaugural ceremony of the 38th COSPAR scientific assembly in Bremen (19 July 2010).
Since its launch in 2002, the INTEGRAL observatory has played a key role in discovering many new high mass X-ray binaries thanks to its large field of view, continuous monitoring of the galactic plane and good sensitivity. The majority of these systems turned out to be persistent supergiant high mass X-ray binaries that escaped previous detection because of their very obscured nature. The remaining ones, named supergiant fast X-ray transients (SFXTs), were missed before because of the very low level of quiescent X-ray luminosities (~1032 -1033 erg s-1), occasionally interrupted by fast X-ray flares lasting typically less than a day and reaching peak luminosities of ~1036 erg s-1. This peculiar transient behaviour has never been seen before from classical persistent SGXBs, which are characterised by X-ray luminosities in the range 1036-1038 erg s-1 with a few of them rarely displaying flaring activity on a timescale of a few hours. The work by Dr Vito Sguera is contributing significantly to our knowledge on the supergiant fast X-ray transients.
27 April 2010
More TOOs: GX 339-4 and XTE J1752-223
13 April 2010 Rather exceptional circumstances seem to have recently concurred in the Gamma-ray sky to produce a flood of TOO requests in a short time. As a result, we will carry out three distinct TOO observations in the course of only two revolutions:
In revolution 916 that starts tomorrow morning, we continue the monitoring phase of the TOO observation of 1A 0535+262 (PI Prof. A. Santangelo) for 50 ks at the beginning of the orbit, and then start the second phase of the TOO on GX 339-4 (PI M. Cadolle Bel) that will fill the rest of the revolution.
In revolution 917, we once more start with 50 ks on 1A 0535+262, following which we begin another TOO observation of the new transient XTE J1752-223 (PI E. Kalemci). The new TOO will continue well into revolution 918, in which we also perform the last of the public Galactic Bulge monitoring observations (PI E. Kuulkers) for this visibility season of the Galactic Centre.
As usual, details are available on the INTEGRAL scheduling pages.
A TOO on 1A 0535+262
8 April 2010 Planned just before Easter, observations of the known Accreting Pulsar 1A 0535+262 (PI Prof. A. Santangelo) started on Saturday, 3rd of April at 18h26 (UTC), for a first set of 100 ksec during the rising phase of the outburst. Follow-up observations of the outburst have been scheduled starting on April 8th and 11th and will continue in subsequent revolutions depending on the evolution of the source outburst.
For more details visit the INTEGRAL scheduling pages
INTEGRAL AO-8 Call for Observing Proposals is open!
15 March 2010 Today, the Director of Science and Robotic Exploration (Prof. David Southwood) has released the 8th Announcement of Opportunity for observing proposals with INTEGRAL.
This announcement solicits proposals for observations to be carried out from January 2011 onwards. Proposers from all over the world are welcome to participate. All proposals will be subject to an independent peer review by the INTEGRAL Time Allocation Committee (TAC). The deadline for Proposals submission is Friday 23 April 2010, 14:00 CEST.
Observing proposals selected for AO-8 will subsequently be open for so-called "data right proposals" via a second Call for Proposals. These associated proposals allow the possibility to obtain data rights on point-like, extended sources or emission features contained in the field of view of accepted observing proposals.
More information can be found on the AO-8 page.
Public availability of frequent and regular observations of the Galactic Bulge region
15 February 2010 Last weekend started with yet another season of frequent and regular observations of the Galactic Bulge region with INTEGRAL (proposal 0720001; PI: Kuulkers). The data are being made public to maximize their use, and encourage scientific investigation of the properties of the sources in this region. For those interested, the near-real-time data can be downloaded from the ISDC, shortly following the end of a monitoring observation. As always, images and light curves will be available at the INTEGRAL Galactic Bulge Monitoring website.
Update of ISOC Newsletter 22
05 February 2010 The ISOC Newsletter 22 has been updated to correct some editorial mistakes, e.g., an obsolete date for the release of the AO-8 call. The updated version is available here and from the ISOC Newsletter archive.
A TOO quickly planned!
15 January 2010 After a prompt reply from ISOC following the TOO alert, observations of the blazar PKS 1510-089 (PI Dr. E. Pian) will start this Sunday, 17th of January at 14h15 (UTC), for a first set of 200 ksec. Depending on the evolution of the source, further observations might be performed in the next revolutions, up to a total remaining time of 400 ksec.