The "images" script


The "images" script is a tool to create attractive XMM-Newton images.


The 'images' script is a bash shell script designed to reduce and combine data from the XMM-Newton pn and MOS cameras to produce X-ray images in several user-defined energy bands. OM data processing is also performed if required.

The script performs several corrections to the data including:

  • filtering for periods of high background
  • removal of bad pixels and columns
  • spatial smoothing
  • exposure correction
  • merging of pn and MOS data


In order to use this script the Science Analysis Software (SAS) must be correctly installed and the SAS environment set.

Before using the script the user must download an Observation Data File (ODF) dataset, for example from the XMM-Newton Science Archive (XSA).


The script is available for download as a single tar file containing in addition to the main script a number of component scripts and the documentation README.pdf.

Some information on creating a false colour image with Photoshop, ds9 or GIMP is given in the documentation as well.

The file may be downloaded here (255K, tar.gz)

If you would like to see an interesting image you have produced placed in the on-line XMM-Newton Image Gallery, please submit it using the XMM-Newton Gallery.



Examples of images created with the "images" script are available in the XMM-Newton Image Gallery.

Here are a few examples:

OMC2 Molecular Cloud

WR 25 in the Carina Nebula

Spiral Galaxy M 101