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

(click to download full poster)



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.

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  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

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The speaker programme can be downloaded here in PDF format.

The poster list can be downloaded here.

The list of registered participants can be downloaded here.

The abstract booklet can be downloaded here. Note that it is only available in electronic form, i.e. it will not be printed.

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Information for Presenters


Invited presentation: a time slot of 30 minutes has been allocated for invited presentations consisting of 25 minutes for the talk plus 5 minutes for discussion.
Contributed talks: a time slot of 15 minutes has been allocated for contributed talks consisting of 12 minutes for the talk plus 3 minutes for discussion.

With the given dense programme, adequate time management will be highly appreciated.

We will provide a Windows PC and a Mac laptop with the following software installed:

Windows 7 Mac (OS Sierra)
Power Point 2016 Power Point 2016
Adobe Acrobat DC Adobe Reader DC
Open Office 4.1.5 Open Office 4.1.5
  Keynote 8.0
  Preview 9.0

To avoid technical problems and delays, we ask you to use one of the two computers provided and tested by us. We can not guarantee that your own laptop will work with the projector.

Please upload and test your presentation on our equipment well in advance of your talk, at the very latest during the coffee break before it is scheduled. Members of the Local Organising Committee will be available to assist you.


Posters need to be prepared in A0 size (portrait view) or smaller.

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Invited Speakers

C. Argiroffi Università di Palermo, Italy
T. Bogdanovic Georgia Tech, Atlanta, USA
B. De Marco Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Warsaw, Poland
F. Fürst European Space Astronomy Centre, Madrid, Spain
D. Haggard McGill University, Montreal, Canada
S. Hodgkin University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
D. Huppenkothen University of Washington Seattle, USA
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

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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

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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

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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.

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Important Dates

Friday, 02 February 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

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Abstract Submission and Registration

Abstract Submission

Abstract submission for oral and poster presentation is closed.


The registration fee will be 70 €. The fee includes the coffee breaks for the three days and a printed issue of the refereed conference proceedings.

For workshop registration and booking of the workshop dinner, please visit the external web portal, operated by the ESA Conference Bureau:

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

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Social Events

The workshop dinner will take place on Thursday, 14th June 2018, 20:00 hr.

The venue is the roof-top terrace of the restaurant "Azotea of the Circulo de Bellas Artes", in Madrid centre, with a spectacular view of the city.


The dinner fee will be 60 € including drinks. Participation to the cocktail dinner as well as dietary restrictions can be specified during online registration.

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Accommodation and Transport


Hotel availability in Madrid is quite limited in June and early booking is recommended. ESAC is located some 30 km west of Madrid and it will thus be best to search for a hotel in the western parts of Madrid.

We will not block hotel rooms for the conference in any particular hotel, but a list of recommended hotels in this area together with useful links is posted below:

Other useful links to find budget hotels:

The location of all recommended hotels is marked in the map below:



A shuttle bus service (two buses) will be provided free of charge for transport between Madrid and ESAC and back to Madrid for the three days of the meeting. The departure location of the buses will be in front of the

Hotel Moncloa Exe
Arcipreste de Hita, 10
28015 Madrid

(marked green on the map), which is also very near metro stations. Please note that it is not required to stay at this hotel to make use of this service.

Departure times from the hotel are:

Wednesday 8:00
Thursday 8:00
Friday 8:00

Return times from ESAC to the Hotel Moncloa Exe are:

Wednesday 18:30
Thursday 18:00
Friday 18:00

On the last day, one bus will go directly to the airport, arriving there around 19:00, depending of traffic.

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The workshop will be held at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), located at Villafranca del Castillo, Madrid, Spain.

The airport of Madrid is connected to the Metro system, providing service to the center of Madrid within 30 minutes for the price of 4,50 €. Find more information under: https://www.metromadrid.es/en/index.html.
Depending on traffic, a taxi from the airport to the centre of Madrid takes about the same time or longer and costs 30 € fixed price. The legal frame of taxi rides to/from the airport can be consulted under: https://www.aeropuertomadrid-barajas.com/transportation/madrid-airport-bytaxi.htm
For taxi rides to other locations, prices can be calculated with the tool https://www.worldtaximeter.com/madrid. This tool is external to ESA, we cannot guarantee it is updated, neither do we endorse this tool to be better than others that may exist.

In order to get to ESAC, we recommend using the shuttle bus. For independent travel by public transport, taxi, or car from Madrid to ESAC, see description How to get to ESAC.

Childcare Service

We will offer a Childcare Service during the three days of the workshop. The service will be on-site at ESAC and will be available for all registered participants. The cost will be 15 € per day, per child. The deadline to reserve this service is Friday, 25 May 2018.

To make reservations and for further information, please contact directly the LOC at



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Group Photo


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  • Local Organising Committee
    for questions related to the scientific organisation and abstract submission:


  • ESA Conference Bureau
    for information about registration and social events:

    ESA-ESTEC / ATPI Corporate Events
    Keplerlaan, 1
    The Netherlands
    Phone: +31 71 565 50 05

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