EDP Sciences
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Volume 365, Number 1, January I 2001
First Results from XMM-Newton
Page(s) L7 - L17
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20000058

A&A 365, L7-L17 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20000058

The Reflection Grating Spectrometer on board XMM-Newton

J. W. den Herder1, A. C. Brinkman1, S. M. Kahn2, G. Branduardi-Raymont3, K. Thomsen4, H. Aarts1, M. Audard4, J. V. Bixler5, A. J. den Boggende1, J. Cottam2, T. Decker5, L. Dubbeldam1, C. Erd6, H. Goulooze1, M. Güdel4, P. Guttridge3, C. J. Hailey2, K. Al Janabi3, J. S. Kaastra1, P. A. J. de Korte1, B. J. van Leeuwen1, C. Mauche5, A. J. McCalden3, R. Mewe1, A. Naber1, F. B. Paerels2, J. R. Peterson2, A. P. Rasmussen2, K. Rees3, I. Sakelliou3, M. Sako2, J. Spodek2, M. Stern2, T. Tamura1, J. Tandy3, C. P. de Vries1, S. Welch3 and A. Zehnder4.

1  Space Research Organization of The Netherlands, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
2  Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, 550 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA
3  Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6NT, UK
4  Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
5  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, PO Box 808 Livermore, CA 94550, USA
6  Astrophysics Division, Space Science Department of ESA, ESTeC, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands

(Received 2 October 2000 / Accepted 26 October 2000)

The ESA X-ray Multi Mirror mission, XMM-Newton, carries two identical Reflection Grating Spectrometers (RGS) behind two of its three nested sets of Wolter I type mirrors. The instrument allows high-resolution ( $E/\Delta E = 100$ to 500) measurements in the soft X-ray range (6 to 38 Åor 2.1 to 0.3 keV) with a maximum effective area of about 140 cm2 at 15 Å. Its design is optimized for the detection of the K-shell transitions of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, neon, magnesium, and silicon, as well as the L shell transitions of iron. The present paper gives a full description of the design of the RGS and its operational modes. We also review details of the calibrations and in-orbit performance including the line spread function, the wavelength calibration, the effective area, and the instrumental background.

Key words: space vehicles: instruments, reflection gratings, XMM-Newton

Offprint request: J. W. den Herder

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