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Operations CXO Status Report

Friday 25 October 2013 9.00am EDT

During the last week the observing schedule was replanned to incorporate observations of the Crab, which were accepted as a Target of Opportunity on Oct 18. Loads for the replanned schedule were uplinked on Oct 19. Planned observations of PSR J1957+5033, XMMUJ0044.0-2033, PSR J2030+4415, and IC 2810 were impacted and will be rescheduled in future weeks.

A flight software patch was uplinked on Oct 24 that deactivates the defective-pixel filtering of aspect camera star images in on-board data processing. The defective-pixel flag is frequently set incorrectly and can result in too few stars being available for on-board attitude determination. When too few stars are tracked for 30 seconds stars must be re-acquired, which temporarily interrupts observing. If the re-acquisition were to fail observing would be halted. The patch reduces the risk of unnecessary loss of observing time. Additional real-time procedures were executed on Oct 24-25 to dump OBC-A memory as a follow-up to the patch. The dump will be used to update the baseline memory image maintained on the ground.

A Chandra press release was issued on Oct 24 as a NASA press release describing a joint effort among Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra to look deeper into the universe than ever before. In an ambitious collaborative program called The Frontier Fields, astronomers will make observations during the next three years peering at six massive clusters of galaxies, exploiting a natural phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, to learn not only what is inside the clusters but also what is beyond them. The clusters are among the most massive assemblages of matter known, and their gravitational fields can be used to brighten and magnify more distant galaxies so they can be observed. For details see:

A Chandra image release was issued on Oct 24 describing observations that show that the Milky Way's supermassive black hole had at least two major outbursts in the last few centuries. By studying X-ray light that has bounced off gas clouds, scientists can piece together the black hole's past activity. This is a phenomenon called a "light echo" and gives scientists a glimpse into the past. For details see:

Of note last week was the Chandra User Committee meeting held at the CXC on Oct 22-23.

Also of note this week was the release on Oct 21 of version 4.5.5 of the CIAO Script package, including minor fixes and a new script that provides the LaTeX dataset identifier macros needed by AAS managed publications.

The schedule of targets for the next week is shown below and includes an observation of Sgr A coordinated with the EVLA and XMM.

        IC2810                 ACIS-S       Oct 27
        MSH11-62               ACIS-I       Oct 28
        SgrA                   ACIS-S
        ACT-CL_J0014-0056      ACIS-I       Oct 29
        Radiation Belts
        Swift2058+0516         ACIS-S
        ACT-CL_J0059-0049      ACIS-I       Oct 30
        PSRJ0357+3205          ACIS-S
        COMET_ISON_1 (2 obs)   ACIS-S       Oct 31
        COMET_ISON_1           HRC-I
        MSH11-62               ACIS-I
        Radiation Belts                     Nov  1
        Swift2058+0516         ACIS-S
        M31Southeast           ACIS-S/HETG
        NGC4922                ACIS-S       Nov  2
        COMET_ISON_1 (2 obs)   ACIS-S       Nov  3
        COMET_ISON_1           HRC-I
        MSH11-62               ACIS-I


All spacecraft subsystems continued to support nominal operations.

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