Meet us at EWASS!

Visit the ESA booth at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science in Liverpool

The annual European Week of Astronomy and Space Science is taking place next month from 3rd to 6th April 2018 in Liverpool, UK. Various ESDC members are attending the conference and will be at the ESA booth, along with other ESA colleagues.
The conference this year is a joint annual meeting of the European Astronomical Society and the National Astronomy Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society. ESDC will be giving a presentation and demo of ESASky at the symposium 'Software in astronomy'. We will also be showing our astronomy archives at the ESA booth, including the European Hubble Space Telescope archive, the Gaia Archive, the Herschel Science Archive, the Planck Legacy Archive, the XMM-Newton Science Archive and ESASky. Come and visit us at the booth and ask for a demo!

EWASS2018 Image: EWASS2018

The Planck Legacy Archive Added-Value tools

By M. López Caniego & J. Tauber

In a recent release of the Planck Legacy Archive (PLA) a number of "Added-value tools" have been integrated to facilitate the processing of Planck products, alone or in combination with external datasets. These tools are mainly designed to help users who are not familiar with some of the particularities of CMB data, but should also be of interest to CMB users.
The new tools can be categorized into four distinct groups: map operations on restricted map-sets, including component subtraction, unit conversion, colour correction, bandpass transformation, and masking of map-cutouts or full-sky maps; a limited version of component separation, map-making using two different types of time-ordered data; effective beam averaging; and noise map cutout.
Some of these tools produce real-time results, while the results of more complex tasks that require more computing time are sent via email to the users and require registering and logging into the PLA.
The tools can be found in the PLA website. For more information, refer to the dedicated documentation.

The flexible search functionalities of the XMM-Newton Science Archive

By N. Loiseau

The XMM-Newton Science Archive (XSA) offers access to all semi-raw (ODF) and pipeline processed (PPS) data, as well as to all derived EPIC and OM source catalogues. For expert users there is a possibility to directly query the XSA database via TAP (table access protocol), but to cover the needs of most users there is a very flexible search interface that allows to search data of individual objects or lists of objects, providing a wealth of selection, visualisation and downloading functionalities.
The interface also provides options to broadcast the results of the search to Virtual Observatory (VO) tools. Moreover, there are now direct links to ESAsky for each observation allowing a fast identification of the X-ray sources, and the exploration of their data in other wavelengths.

New datasets available in the Planetary Science Archive

By D. Heather, E. Grotheer, M. Barthelemy & B. López Martí
          above Mars

New datasets from the Mars Express and Rosetta missions were recently released and made available through the Planetary Science Archive (PSA):

Image: ESA

New Highly Processed Data Products available in the Herschel Science Archive

By Göran Pilbratt & B. López Martí

Herschel Highly Processed Data Products (HPDPs) are expert-provided data products. While standard archive data products have been processed using automatic pipelines, HPDPs have been further processed by mission experts using interactive analysis tools and/or user-contributed software. HPDPs can be either data products that the pipelines do not produce at all, or (for certain observations) improved products with respect to the pipeline products.
Recently, new HPDP datasets have been released and made available through the HSA. These new products are PACS JScanam mosaics (improved quality mosaics of very extended regions like the Milky Way, the Orion star-forming region or the Magellanic Clouds) and Unimap mosaics (created from observations acquired in parallel mode and processed only up to Level 2 by the standard pipeline for a variety of reasons); SPIRE HIRes maps (high signal-to-noise maps deconvolved using an improved algorithm and calibrated for extended emission); and HIFI Expert Reduced Spectral Scans (Level 2.5 products baseline-corrected for residual artefacts).
A description of all HPDPs, those available in the HSA and in addition those not yet available in HSA, can be found in the Herschel documentation pages.

SOHO's first full solar cycle

By A. Masson & B. López Martí
22 years of

On 22 December 2017, SOHO, the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, celebrated 22 years of successful scientific operations in space. 22 years correspond to two solar sunspot cycles, which have been found to be widely different. The sunspot cycle happens because of the flip of the Sun’s magnetic poles — north becomes south and south becomes north—, which happens approximately every 11 years. Some 11 years later, the poles reverse again back to where they started, making the full solar cycle actually a 22-year phenomenon.
Initially planned to operate for 2 years, SOHO is now the longest-lived heliophysics mission in operations. It indeed continues to operate unique scientific instrumentation such as white light coronographs that are highly complimentary to measurements performed by other solar observatories such as SDO, HINODE, IRIS or PROBA-2. The SOHO data are still widely used by the scientific community, leading to the publication of more than 200 peer-reviewed papers based on these data in 2017.
SOHO data can be retrieved from the SOHO Science Archive at the ESDC.

Plan your JWST observations with ESASky!

By B. López Martí & D. Baines
ESASky planning

If you are preparing a proposal for the JWST (deadline: April 6th), you can use ESASky to define your pointings with the Observation Planning tool. This functionality makes it possible to display the footprints of any JWST instrument, or of the whole focal plane, at any chosen position and orientation. This way, users can check the overlapping of their planned observations with observations from other missions available in ESASky, and make sure that their pointings cover or avoid particular features or objects visible in the ESASky all-sky maps.
It is important to note that the ESASky Observation Planning tool is not intended to replace the JWST APT tool, but just to provide a quick-look aid for proposal preparation. The coordinates and positional angles of the pointings defined using this functionality have to be checked and refined in the APT, which is the official tool for preparing JWST observations.
This video shows the Observation Planning tool in action. For more information, refer to the ESASky documentation.