Mar 29 – 31, 2022
Europe/Madrid timezone

                   29-31 March 2022, 13-16 UT / 15-18 CEST / 9-12am EDT

The SIXTE team for the end-to-end simulator for Athena and other X-ray astronomical missions is happy to announce its next hands-on workshop, following the previous SIXTE workshops in Toulouse, France (2016), Bamberg, Germany (2018), Cambridge, MA, USA (2018) and Santander, Spain (2019).

Given the pandemic, the workshop will be held online in a combination of Zoom and gather town, at a time that is hopefully at least somewhat accommodating for non-European attendees, from 29-31 March, 13-16 UT.

Contents of the workshop include:

  1. General introduction to SIXTE
  2. Simulations of observations with the Athena WFI and X-IFU
  3. Example use cases of complex simulations done with SIXTE
  4. Practical sessions on:
    • simple point source spectra and light curves
    • simulation of extended sources, including aspects of spectro-spatial simulations
    • simulations including dithering and slews either on your computer or using an online-version of SIXTE made available through the JHU scisim.
  5. Discussions of potential simulation setups based on audience input

The intended audience are graduate students and scientists with a background in X-ray astronomy who are interested in performing simulations for Athena or similar observatories.

Registration is currently closed.


  1. As the workshop will take place via Zoom and GatherTown, please make sure that both are working properly. We assume that you have been using Zoom previously, for GatherTown, we will send around a link to try out one day in advance.

  2. If you want to use the SciServer to run SIXTE - which we recommend- you will find a guide in the documents section below on this web page. In brief:

    • To get access to the SIXTE folder on SciServer, which includes the software and files for the tutorials, please send an E-Mail with your SciServer username to the SIXTE support list (, preferably on the day before the workshop at the latest (=on Monday).

    • To create a compute container, follow the instructions in the above document until the test for SIXTE und SIMPUT by running 'sixteversion'.

  3. If you want to use SIXTE on your own machine, please make sure you are using the current version and that it is installed and running correctly before the workshop - due to the number of participants we will unfortunately not be able to fix installation issues during the workshop. You will also need to use up-to date instrument files. You can find all of these at the SIXTE web page.

  4. You will need the SIXTE manual for some of the exercises we prepared for you, so please have it at hand for the workshop.  The examples and exercises in the manual have been collected in different jupyter notebooks so that you can have a guide about how to use SIXTE with python. That way you can execute every example/exercise in the cells and take your own notes in the notebook.

  5. The up-to date agenda for the workshop can be found also under Timetable entry in the menu on the left. Note that some times may shift in the short term due to the tutorials.

  6. The workshop will start at 3:00 p.m. CEST on Zoom (see link in mail to participants). We will use this Zoom room for all presentations during the workshop.

  7.  We will use the Gather.Town video chat platform for the practical sessions of the workshop. You can join the space at  the link sent to registered participants

You can find some general Gather.Town instructions for the workshop at this website (just below this text). We will explain the platform in more detail the first day, but we would like to ask you to connect to our Gather.Town space once before the workshop starts to ensure that everything works. When visiting the link, you will be asked to enter the password, enter your name, connect the video and mic, and create an avatar. After a quick tutorial, you will join our SIXTE workshop space. You are all set for tomorrow if you can move around and connect your mic and video! Firefox or Chrome web browsers are recommended.

To inspect FITS files and images, we recommend having a local installation of HEASoft and ds9 on your machine.

Organizing committee:

Thomas Dauser (FAU Erlangen-Nuernberg)
Christian Kirsch (FAU Erlangen-Nuernberg)
Maximilian Lorenz (FAU Erlangen-Nuernberg)
Lea Michalski (FAU Erlangen-Nuernberg)
Ole Koenig (FAU Erlangen-Nuernberg)
Joern Wilms (FAU Erlangen-Nuernberg)
Philippe Peille (CNES)
Maite Ceballos (IFCA (CSIC-UC))
Beatriz Cobo (IFCA (CSIC-UC))
Andy Ptak (NASA-GSFC)
Panayiotis Tzanavaris (APS/UMBC/CRESST)
Katja Pottschmidt (UMBC/CRESST/NASA-GSFC)