XMM-Newton 2018 Science Workshop


Time-Domain Astronomy: A High Energy View

13 - 15 June 2018

European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC)
Villafranca del Castillo
Madrid, Spain



This webpage is being updated as further details are known.



Many astronomical objects are time variable. Time variability encodes key information about the source physics; this information is complementary to that in energy spectra and is essential for our complete understanding of the phenomena involved. Most X-ray emitting objects show variability whose timescales can span many orders of magnitudes, from decades down to milliseconds depending on the source. Studying X-ray variability, we can probe the physics of a large number of phenomena in a plethora of different astrophysical objects, from large scale changes of galactic environments down to the direct environment of compact accretion objects. Objects studied include solar system objects and stars, novae and supernovae, pulsars and magnetars, Galactic black holes and supermassive black holes in the centre of active galactic nuclei.

With the upcoming multi-wavelength time-domain monitoring facilities such as Gaia, LSST, ASAS, TESS, PanSTARRS in the optical band, or SKA in the radio band, to name a few, an enormous potential for multi-wavelength studies will soon be available. The workshop aims to summarise the current understanding of the variability in high energy astrophysical objects in order to explore the potential synergy with other (new) time-domain facilities and to foster cooperation between observers in different energy bands.


  1. Statistics, Methodology, and Tools
  2. Variable Multiwavelength Emitters and Multiwavelength Facilities
  3. Timing from Accretion and Ejection Phenomena
  4. Triggers of Variability: Magnetism, Shocks, Companions
  5. Explosive Astrophysics/Fast Astrophysics

Invited Speakers

C. Argiroffi Università di Palermo, Italy
T. Bogdanovic Georgia Tech, Atlanta, USA
B. De Marco Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Warsaw, Poland
D. Haggard McGill University, Montreal, Canada
F. Fürst European Space Astronomy Centre, Madrid, Spain
S. Hodgkin University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
D. Huppenkothen University of Washington Seattle, USA
E. Lindfors University of Turku, Finland
E. Lusso University of Durham, United Kingdom
M.J. Middleton University of Southampton, United Kingdom
E. Petroff Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Dwingeloo, the Netherlands
F. Pintore Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica Milano, Italy
K. Poppenhaeger Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom
G. Sala Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
S. Sciortino Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Italy
N. Tanvir University of Leicester, United Kingdom
R. Walter University of Geneva, Switzerland

Outline of WS

Statistics, Methodology, and Tools

  • Are we prepared for the big surveys?
  • What region of parameter space requires new methodology? (e.g., spectra-timing, low count rates)
  • What can we learn from techniques used in other fields?
  • Characterization of non-periodic variability
  • Machine learning
Invited talks:
  • Statistical techniques in time series analysis: characterization of non-periodic variability and machine learning
  • Statistical techniques in time series analysis: machine learning and big surveys

Variable Multi Wavelength Emitters and Multiwavelength Facilities

  • Challenges of strictly simultaneous coordination?
  • What are the regions of parameter space opened up by new facilities?
  • How does polarimetry help?
  • How can we ensure continued monitoring the optical and X-ray sky?
Invited talks:
  • Current and future MW campaigns: The big picture
  • Gaia's view of transient sources
  • Multiwavelength observations of accretion/ejection in supermassive black holes

Timing from Accretion and Ejection Phenomena

  • Is accretion physics truly scale-invariant?
  • How can we probe the disc/jet connection?
  • How are accretion winds and jets (dis)connected?
  • What key theoretical developments are required to understand the various accretion physics related phenomena?
  • X-ray binaries
  • AGN
  • Young stars
  • CVs
Invited talks:
  • Theory of accretion/ejection
  • Modeling young stellar objects and their variability
  • Accretion, ejection and variability of CVs and novae
  • Timing and reflection in AGN and XRBs
  • The variability of Sgr A*
  • Variability in AGN surveys
  • Variability in deep fields

Triggers of Variability: Magnetism, Shocks, Companions

  • How can polarimetry help?
  • What is the physics of shocks?
  • How does variability affect planets?
  • Young stars
  • Massive stars
  • Shocks in stellar winds
  • Magnetized neutron stars
  • X-ray/gamma-ray connections
Invited talks:
  • Stellar variability
  • Eta Car's variability
  • Planet interaction
  • Magnetized neutron stars: spectral-timing variability

Explosive Astrophysics/Fast Astrophysics

  • What are the requirements of multi-messenger astrophysics?
  • Is the GRB/SN connection settled?
  • X-ray bursts
  • SNe
  • GRBs
  • Fast radio bursts
  • Timing and dust scattering halos
  • Tidal disruption events
Invited talks:
  • Fast radio bursts
  • Gamma-ray bursts
  • GW follow up: physics and multiwavelength variability

Scientific Organising Committee (SOC)

Matteo Bachetti Osservatorio Astronomico di Cagliari, Selargius, Italy
Enrico Bozzo University of Geneva, Versoix, Switzerland
Guillaume Dubus University Grenoble Alpes, France
Phil Evans University Leicester, United Kingdom
Poshak Gandhi University of Southampton, United Kingdom
Margarita Hernanz Institute of Space Sciences, Barcelona, Spain
Sera Markoff University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Alex Markowitz Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Poland
Yaël Nazé Université de Liège, Belgium
Francesca Panessa Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali di Roma, Italy
Richard Saxton XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre, Madrid, Spain
Norbert Schartel (co-chair) XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre, Madrid, Spain
Lara Sidoli Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica, Milano, Italy
Beate Stelzer University of Tübingen, Germany &
    Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Italy
John Tomsick University of California, Berkeley, USA
Peggy Varniere University Paris Diderot, France
Joern Wilms (chair) University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
Andreas Zezas University of Crete, Greece

Local Organising Committee (LOC)

Simone Migliari (Chair), Lucia Ballo, Ignacio de la Calle, Jacobo Ebrero, Felix Fürst, Cristina Hernández, Aitor Ibarra, Eleni Kalfountzou, Jan-Uwe Ness, Richard Saxton, Norbert Schartel, Michael Smith, Ana Willis.

Important Dates (Tentative)

End of January 2018 Opening of Registration and abstract submission
Friday, 09 March 2018 Deadline abstract submission
Monday, 16 April 2018 Notification to authors
Monday, 30 April 2018 Early registration deadline
Wednesday, 30 May 2018 Late registration deadline
Wednesday, 13 June 2018 On-site registration

Registration and Abstract

The registration fee will be 70 €. The fee includes the coffee breaks, a printed issue of the refereed conference proceedings, and a shuttle bus transfer between Madrid and ESAC.

Registration and abstract submission is planned to open at the end of January 2018, with deadline for abstract submission 9 March 2018.

Decisions about accepted presentations (talks and posters) will be communicated before the early registration deadline.


Conference proceedings will be published as a regular issue of the refereed journal Astronomical Notes.

Social Events

The workshop dinner is planned to take place on Thursday, 14 June 2018. The dinner and meal preferences can be booked during on-line registration.

Venue and Accommodation

The workshop will be held at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), near Madrid, Spain. We will not block hotel rooms for the conference in any particular hotel, but a list of recommended hotels together with useful links will be posted soon.

A shuttle bus service between Madrid and ESAC will be provided.