XMM-Newton-NEWS  #241,    22-Mar-2021

XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
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  • Version 19.1 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released
  • SAS Users Guide and Threads updated


The XMM-Newton SAS team is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the SAS : SAS v19.1.

Binaries for diverse flavours of Linux and Mac OS X are available at


The main improvements in this release are:

  • First release produced using RPATH, a mechanism that allows SAS to run on macOS with SIP (System Integrity Protection) enabled and on Linux with SE (Security Enhanced) enabled.
  • ommosaic: removed a limit on the size of the final mosaiced image.
  • omichain: documentation has been enhanced regarding treatment of mosaiced images.
  • qpbselect: output quiescent particle background spectra and images produced in units of counts (rather than counts/s).
  • Fixed a problem with missing figures in HTML online documentation.
  • Python support:
    • pysas improved to handle mandatory sub-parameters. With this change, a full data processing session can be run from Python using a combination of Python and SAS native tasks.
    • startsas: new parameters, workdir and sasfiles added.

This version of SAS is released in two binary versions for Linux (Centos 7.3 and Ubuntu 18.04LTS), and one for macOS 10.15.7 (Catalina). These versions have been tested and found to run correctly on several other platforms including Red Hat 7, Red Hat 8, Ubuntu 20 and 21 and macOS Mojave and BigSur.


The Users Guide to the XMM-Newton Science Analysis System has been updated for SAS v19.1 in order to include the latest information on data analysis methods and updated SAS tasks.

The guide is available from the XMM-Newton Proposer's Info and Manuals Web page (Section: Data Analysis) at


The html version of the SAS Users Guide can be accessed directly under


As announced in Newsletter #236 , Data Analysis Threads are already revised and in-line with SAS v19.1.

With the infrastructure of Python in SAS, three experimental threads have been released under Jupyter Notebooks. The purpose of these threads is to illustrate how to use the Python interface to run SAS from a Jupyter Notebook, see




Yours sincerely,

XMM-Newton SOC