Chandra X-Ray Observatory

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Chandra Electronic Announcement #65

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1. Chandra Cycle 13 Call for Proposals released 15 December 2010

2. CIAO 4.3 and CALDB 4.4.1 released 15 December 2010

3. Chandra Source Catalog (CSC) User Interface Updates

Item 1: Chandra Cycle 13 Call for Proposals released 15 December 2010

The CXC is pleased to announce the release of the Chandra Cycle 13
Call for Proposals (CfP). The Call for Proposals, the Proposers'
Observatory Guide (POG), proposal planning software,
and general information are posted on the "Proposer" web page
at the CXC website:

Proposals are due: 15 March 2011

Hardcopy documents are available on request to the CXC HelpDesk 

Item 2: CIAO 4.3 and CALDB 4.4.1 released 15 December 2010

The Chandra X-ray Center (CXC) is pleased to announce that version 4.3
of CIAO ("Chandra Interactive Analysis of Observations") and version
4.4.1 of CALDB ("Calibration Database") are available for download from:

The CIAO 4.3 software requires CALDB 4.4.1 to work correctly.

CIAO and CALDB installation or upgrade are now greatly simplified and
automated by the ciao-install script generated based on selections
from the download page. The script will download all the necessary
CIAO and CALDB files, and then automatically install them. The
download procedure no-longer requires you to register before being
able to install CIAO. 


Notable changes and improvements in CIAO 4.3:

* The EDSER sub-pixel algorithm has been implemented as the default in
acis_process_events, replacing the 0.5 pixel randomization. A
temperature-dependent CTI calibration is available for observations
taken at the -120 C focal plane temperature. New parameters have been
added to support these features.
The chandra_repro script has been updated to support this algorithm.

* Two new tools for use when creating ARF files: arfcorr (correct an
ARF for the finite extraction region) and sky2tdet (improved weighting
algorithm for spatial variations in the ARF).
Both are discussed in the How CIAO 4.3 and CALDB 4.4.1 Affect Your
Analysis section of these release notes.

* A new tool, addresp, adds together multiple imaging ARFs and RMFs to
create a pair of merged ARF and RMF files. The tool is used by the
combine_spectra script which replaces the deprecated acisspec script.
acisspec has been removed from the contributed tarfile.

* The Sherpa modeling and fitting package has a number of enhancements,
such as support for model expressions with different type of
instruments and combinations of convolved and non-convolved model
components, caching of model parameters, improved support for
multi-core processing, new iterative fitting methods and many new high
level user interface functions. 

* The ChIPS plotting application includes support for creating axes
with WCS meta data associated with them. There are new commands for
panning and zooming in plots, as well as improved image support and
many enhancements and bug fixes. 

* The Data Model supports TSV format ASCII files, including the
extended header detail provided by the Chandra Source Catalog (CSC)
output format. 

* Support for the S-Lang scripting language has been removed from ChIPS
and the CIAO tools and modules. S-Lang was removed from Sherpa in the
CIAO 4.2 Sherpa v2 release (July 2010).

Read the complete CIAO 4.3 release notes, including the section "How
CIAO 4.3 and CALDB 4.4.1 Affect Your Analysis" at:


CIAO 4.3 is distributed for the following platforms:

* Solaris 10 (SunOS5.10)
* Linux 32-bit and 64-bit
* Mac OS X Intel 10.5 and 10.6 32-bit and 64-bit

More details at

* NOTE ON 64-BIT PACKAGES:* The 64-bit CIAO builds are now the default
on 64-bit machines with the Quick Installation. Installation of 32-bit
binaries on 64-bit machines can only be done through Custom


In tandem with CIAO 4.3 is the release of the Chandra Calibration
Database version 4.4.1.

CALDB 4 is a brand new, newly-configured, newly-supported calibration
database for Chandra, in particular for CIAO 4.3. The directory
structure, caldb configuration (index files), and the software interface
are all changed/upgraded.

CALDB 4.4.1 requires CIAO 4.3 or later version; earlier versions of CIAO
do not support recent upgrades to acis_process_events.
Furthermore CIAO 4.3 requires CalDB 4.4.1 to function properly.

CalDB 4.4.1 includes the following new items:

ACIS contamination (CONTAM) with new ACIS-I correction model.
ACIS T_GAIN Epoch 43 new updates for observations since 01 May 2010.
ACIS Temperature-dependent CTI correction files.
ACIS GRDIMG file for CTI correction of FI chips in GRADED DATAMODE
ACIS SUBPIX (subpixel repositioning) CalDB file.
HRC-I QE and Gain Map upgrades for 2010.
HRC-S/LETG grating tilt corrections, with associated TGMASK2 and LSFPARM

Detailed information can be found in the Chandra
Calibration Database website at


As always please send questions and requests for enhancements to the CXC
HelpDesk (

CIAO 4.3 is a collaborative effort between the SAO/CXC Science Data
Systems, the SAO/CXC Data Systems, and MIT/CXC personnel.

Item 3: Chandra Source Catalog (CSC) User Interface Updates

A. CSC interfaces updated for Release 1.1

  The CSC Sky in Google Earth, CSC-SDSS Cross-match Catalog, and CSC
  Sensitivity Map Service have been updated to access Release 1.1 of
  the Chandra Source Catalog.

  o CSC Sky in Google Earth allows the catalog user to visualize tri- 
   color images and field-of-view boundaries for ACIS and HRC-I 
   observations included in Release 1.1 of the CSC, together with 
   pushpins that locate catalog sources. 

  o The CSC-SDSS Cross-match catalog identifies source cross-matches 
   between Release 1.1 of the CSC and Data Release 7 of the Sloan 
   Digital Sky Survey. The cross-match catalog includes about
   19,000 sources that have a match probability of at least 50%
  o The CSC Sensitivity Map Service allows the user to determine the 
   CSC flux limit in all catalog energy bands for user-specified 
   celestial locations of interest.

  The updated interfaces can be accessed from the main catalog

B. CSCview cross-match functionality 

  The latest version of the CSCview user interface to the Chandra 
  Source Catalog allows the user to upload source positions (with
  optional position errors) for a positional cross-match against CSC
  sources. The table of positions may be entered directly, imported 
  as a data file, or received via the SAMP (Simple Application 
  Messaging Protocol) interface. A detailed description of the cross-
  match functionality is available on the catalog website, or via the 
  CSCview help capability.

  CSCview can be accessed from the main catalog website:


Last modified: 12/15/10

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