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RXTE News Archive: 2005 RXTE


Recommended RXTE Cycle 11 Targets Released!

November 28, 2005

The Stage 1 review for RXTE Cycle 11 took place in November 2005. Scientists from all over the world convened to discuss the 128 unique proposals that were submitted for consideration this year. The proposals and targets that were recommended to NASA Headquarters by the review panel are now available online. NOTE: Cycle 11 proposal numbers are distinguished by their leading two digits: 92NNN.

PIs should receive email notification of the results of their proposal, along with comments from the review panel, within the next several weeks. Congratulations to all successful Cycle 11 PIs!

RXTE Birthday Party and Mini-Conference!

December 21 2005

UPDATED information on the RXTE Birthday Party & Mini-Conference.

October 18, 2005

This coming Dec. 30 will be the 10th birthday of RXTE! We have begun planning a celebration for Jan. 12-13, 2006, immediately following the January AAS meeting in Washington, D.C. (Jan. 8-12). The celebration will be held at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, and will include:

1. A party 4-8 pm Jan. 12 at the Goddard recreation center

2. A program of science talks 8:30 am - 3 p.m. Jan. 13 (B.3 auditorium, Goddard)

3. The Goddard Scientific Colloquium 3:30-4:30 pm on Jan. 13: "The Impact of Rossi XTE on General Relativistic and High Energy Astrophysics" - Fred Lamb

4. A users group meeting especially focused on the subject of plans for a submission to the 2006 senior review.

If you are interested in attending please read on, and note especially the TIME CRITICAL ACTIONS listed at the end of this notice.

The January AAS meeting has many sessions in the program that will be of interest to those who use RXTE data. The AAS meeting finishes midday on Jan. 12. We invite all XTE users, enthusiasts, and interested others to come to Greenbelt after attending the meeting. The XTE team will reserve a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn, Greenbelt, for the nights of Jan. 12-13. We will also be helping to arrange transportation from DC to Greenbelt and between the Holiday Inn and Goddard on Friday.

The program on Friday at Goddard will include invited talks on Stellar Black Holes, AGN, and Neutron Stars and a few contributed talks. There is also room for posters.

If you think you would be able to attend, please send send e-mail to Jean Swank if you would like to contribute.

If you will be sending an abstract to the AAS note that the deadline is imminent.


If you wish to submit an abstract to the AAS meeting, the deadline is October 19, 9 PM EDT = October 20, 1 AM UT. I.e. this Wednesday evening.

If you are a foreign national and will want to come to Goddard, we must apply as soon as possible for a badge: please send e-mail to Terri Shaffer and let her know you are a foreign national who would like to attend. [Note: the event is now over; please do not contact Terri about badges any more.]

RXTE Cycle 11: NSPIRES Guidance

September 15, 2005

The deadline for Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) Cycle 11 Observing proposals is fast approaching. Due to changes in the proposal submission process, if you are submitting an RXTE Cycle 11 proposal, PRINT OUT THIS MESSAGE and refer to it often during the submission process. In particular, PIs at US institutions should be aware that NSPIRES Cover Page submission to NASA HQ must be done by an authorized organizational representative (AOR) of your institution, not the individual PI. (See part #2 below for details.)

Read below for instructions aimed at:
1) all proposers
2) US PIs
3) PIs at non-US institutions.


The schedule for RXTE Cycle 11 is as follows:

  • Release Date - January 31, 2005, as part of ROSES-2005
  • Due Date for Notices of Intent - September 19, 2005
  • Due Date for Proposal Submission - September 19, 2005, 4:30pm ET
  • Proposal Peer Review - November, 2005
  • Start of Cycle 11 observations - on or around March 1, 2006

ROSES-2005 link:


1. ALL RXTE PIs: NEW for Cycle 11---NASA NSPIRES registration is required!

All RXTE Cycle 11 Stage 1 proposals must include an electronic submission through NASA's new NSPIRES system, in addition to the normal RPS submission of the proposal, target forms, etc. In order to do this, users must create and activate an NSPIRES account.

Click here for NSPIRES web site.

Click on Registration Information in Right Menu Bar Click on Begin Registration (ignore the SYS_EYFUS option) Answer all the personal questions and complete the process Wait about 5 minutes for an account activation email with the Subject: NASA NSPIRES- User registration confirmation Follow the instructions to activate your account.

You can now submit NOIs and enter NSPIRES cover pages to your authorized organizational representative (AOR) for them to submit.

As in previous years, PIs submit RXTE Target Forms and Scientific Justification (Stage 1) proposals through the usual RPS electronic submission process. RPS pages may be accessed at: RPS web site.

Please note that ONLY the Proposal Cover Page or NOI should be submitted via NSPIRES. DO NOT UPLOAD any other proposal documents via NSPIRES (although it is possible to do this). Use RPS to do upload the RPS cover pages and the scientific justification of the proposals.

2. PIs at US Institutions: NSPIRES Cover Page Submission Steps

Important: Your Authorized Organization Representative (and not you) submits your cover pages to NSPIRES once you have entered all the information and completed the Cover Page process. When you do this, you have ?released? the cover pages, enabling your AOR to submit it on behalf of your institution. If you do not know who your AOR is, find this person through your office of sponsored research immediately and give them a heads-up that you need them to submit the NSPIRES cover pages for you by September 19, at 4:30PM EST.

US PIs do not need to submit a Notice of Intent.

3. PIs at Institutions outside the US: NSPIRES NOI Submission Steps

All PIs located at non-US instititutions must complete and submit electronically an NSPIRES Notice of Intent (NOI). This can be done by the PI, and does not require the approval of their institution. You do need to register and set up an NSPIRES account but your institution does not need to register.


The XTE GOF staff is anxious to help RXTE PIs with their Cycle 11 submissions. Do not hesitate to drop us an email at the XTE


or call Padi Boyd at 301-286-2550 if you have other questions about submitting a proposal for RXTE Cycle 11.


RXTE Cycle 11: Important Changes

June 29, 2005

Important changes have taken place that effect the submission of RXTE Cycle 11 Stage 1 science observing proposals. In particular, all proposals must include an electronic submission through NASA's new NSPIRES system, in addition to the normal RPS submission of the proposal, target forms, etc. For further information, please read these Important Details Regarding Cycle 11 Proposal Submission.

PIs at US institutions please note: the NSPIRES form must be submitted by an authorized official of the proposing institution - not by the PI. Please see the instructions for PIs at US institutions at the above link for further details.

HEXTE Cluster A News

January 26, 2005

Between 15:32:48 on Dec. 13, 2004 and 18:37:40 on Jan. 14, 2005, HEXTE cluster A did not modulate on and off source. The detectors were on, but the cluster position remained fixed for the entire period. Cluster B functioned normally throughout.

Analysis of engineering data taken while cluster A was not modulating led to the conclusion that sensors responsible for detecting cluster position had become confused, triggering a shutdown of the software controlling cluster motion. A reboot of the relevant systems on January 14 restored full function for cluster A. There is no evidence of any hardware or software damage, and the cluster is behaving normally.

Data taken during the "fixed position" period indicates cluster A stopped as it was rocking between the -1.5 degrees off-source position and its full on-source position. An analysis of a V0332+53 observation by Wayne Coburn found that cluster A had 75% of normal response to on-source targets during this period.

The HEXTE team intends to provide boresight and other information to aid in analysis of cluster A data from this period. Further details will be posted on the RXTE homepage, as they become available. (http://rxte.gsfc.nasa.gov/)

Cycle 10 Budget Information Now Available

January 25, 2005

Successful RXTE Cycle 10 proposers from US institutions are now invited to submit budget requests as part of Cycle 10 Stage 2. PIs working at non-US institutions may have a US co-I submit a budget on their behalf. You can find information and links to instructions on how to submit through RPS on our Web pages:


Please direct any questions to xtehelp

All RXTE Cycle 10 Phase 2 budget requests (hardcopies as well as electronic submissions) must be received by 4:30 PM EST Friday, February 25, 2005.

RXTE Sees Hot Matter "Surf" Around Black Hole

January 10, 2005

New RXTE observations reveal evidence of hot iron gas "surfing" on a ripple in spacetime around a black hole. Jon Miller of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Jeroen Homan of MIT announced their results at the American Astronomical Society meeting in San Deigo, this week. The observation confirms predictions made by Albert Einstein over 80 years ago.

For more details, see the NASA Feature article: Matter Surfs on Ripples of Space Time Around Black Hole
(includes computer animation)

If you have a question about RXTE, please send email to one of our help desks.

This page is maintained by the RXTE GOF and was last modified on Monday, 20-Mar-2006 13:08:39 EST.