XMM Satellite Schoolpage


XMM Laboratory

The XMM laboratory is designed to enable students to gain some hands-on experience in the sort of image processing done by astronomers, using real data from XMM. The following pages provide step-by-step instructions involving source-finding, smoothing, noise, edge-detection, and the use of photon energy.

To be able to do any of the exercises provided on this page you must have a copy of Scion image. A free copy of Scion image is available here.

Also in order to complete certain exercises you will require the following file which contains additional kernels required to do some of the exercises. Once downloaded unzip the files inside the folder to the Kernels folder in the scion image directory. A version of winzip can be downloaded from the info for teachers page.


Files required to do some exercises

Image library
The image library contains all of the images required to complete the exercises in the laboratory.

Exercise 1
This exercise teaches you how to search for x-ray sources in an image and then gives you the opportunity to have a go at finding sources in some of the images kept in the image library.

Exercise 2
The second exercise teaches edge detection techniques using an image of a supernova remnant. This technique can be applied for numerous applications but in this case it is used to aid in determining how long ago the supernova explosion occurred.

Exercise 3
This exercise introduces the concept of hardness and requires you to determine hardness ratios of images.

The University of Birmingham 

Physics and Astronomy Department, The University of Birmingham