We aim to examine the relative cross-calibration accuracy of the on-axis effective areas of the XMM-Newton EPIC pn and MOS instruments. Spectra from a sample of 46 bright, high-count, non-piled-up isolated on-axis point sources are stacked together, and model residuals are examined to characterize the EPIC MOS-to-pn inter-calibration. The MOS1-to-pn and MOS2-to-pn results are broadly very similar. The cameras show the closest agreement below 1 keV, with MOS excesses over pn of 0-2% (MOS1/pn) and 0-3% (MOS2/pn). Above 3 keV, the MOS/pn ratio is consistent with energy-independent (or only mildly increasing) excesses of 7-8% (MOS1/pn) and 5-8% (MOS2/pn). In addition, between 1-2 keV there is a `silicon bump’ – an enhancement at a level of 2-4% (MOS1/pn) and 3-5% (MOS2/pn). Tests suggest that the methods employed here are stable and robust. The results presented here provide the most accurate cross-calibration of the effective areas of the XMM-Newton EPIC pn and MOS instruments to date. They suggest areas of further research where causes of the MOS-to-pn differences might be found, and allow the potential for corrections to and possible rectification of the EPIC cameras to be made in the future.
A. Read, M. Guainazzi and S. Sembay
Mon, 17 Mar 14