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15 July 2008 The SMC SNR 1E0102.2-7219 as a calibration standard for x-ray astronomy in the 0.3-2.5 keV bandpass
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The flight calibration of the spectral response of CCD instruments below 1.5 keV is difficult in general because of the lack of strong lines in the on-board calibration sources typically available. We have been using E0102, the brightest supernova remnant in the Small Magellanic Cloud, to evaluate the response models of the ACIS CCDs on the Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO), the EPIC CCDs on the XMM-Newton Observatory, the XIS CCDs on the Suzaku Observatory, and the XRT CCD on the Swift Observatory. E0102 has strong lines of O, Ne, and Mg below 1.5 keV and little or no Fe emission to complicate the spectrum. The spectrum of E0102 has been well characterized using high-resolution grating instruments, namely the XMM-Newton RGS and the CXO HETG, through which a consistent spectral model has been developed that can then be used to fit the lower-resolution CCD spectra. Fits with this model are sensitive to any problems with the gain calibration and the spectral redistribution model of the CCD instruments. We have also used the measured intensities of the lines to investigate the consistency of the effective area models for the various instruments around the bright O (570 eV and 654 eV) and Ne (910 eV and 1022 eV) lines. We find that the measured fluxes of the O VII triplet, the O VIII Ly-a line, the Ne IX triplet, and the Ne X Ly-a line generally agree to within ±10% for all instruments, with 28 of our 32 fitted normalizations within ±10% of the RGS-determined value. The maximum discrepancies, computed as the percentage difference between the lowest and highest normalization for any instrument pair, are 23% for the O VII triplet, 24% for the O VIII Ly-a line, 13% for the Ne IX~triplet, and 19% for the Ne X Ly-a line. If only the CXO and XMM are compared, the maximum discrepancies are 22% for the O VII triplet, 16% for the O VIII Ly-a line, 4% for the Ne IX triplet, and 12% for the Ne X Ly-a line.
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Paul P. Plucinsky, Frank Haberl, Daniel Dewey, Andrew P. Beardmore, Joseph M. DePasquale, Olivier Godet, Victoria Grinberg, Eric D. Miller, A. M. T. Pollock, Steven Sembay, and Randall K. Smith "The SMC SNR 1E0102.2-7219 as a calibration standard for x-ray astronomy in the 0.3-2.5 keV bandpass", Proc. SPIE 7011, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 70112E (15 July 2008);

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