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


Further details will be posted in due time.



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

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

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