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XMM-Newton observations of MAXI J1659-152

ATEL # 2887; E. Kuulkers (ESA/ESAC), C. Kouveliotou (NASA/MSFC), A.J. van der Horst (NASA/MSFC/ORAU), on behalf of a larger collaboration
on 30 Sep 2010; 1:02 UT
Password Certification: Erik Kuulkers (

Subjects: X-ray, Binaries, Black Holes, Transients, Variables
Referred to by ATEL #: 2888, 2912

XMM-Newton observed the recently discovered X-ray transient MAXI J1659-152 (Negoro et al. 2010, ATel #2873; Mangano et al. 2010, GCN #11296) from UT 27 September 2010 15:58 to 28 September 2010 06:41 for a total exposure of 53 ksec.

We see an extremely bright source in the EPIC-pn (0.15-15 keV) CCD. A quick-look analysis reveals an estimate on the source count rate of more than 2000 counts/s, based on the raw light curves, which roughly translates to more than 0.2 Crab. We note that this value could easily be higher (possibly 5000 pn counts/s, i.e., roughly 0.5 Crab) because the counting observing mode was triggered.

This confirms a continuous strong rise in X-ray flux on September 25 reported by Swift/XRT (Kennea et al. 2010, ATel #2877), and is consistent with the X-ray flux reported from RXTE/PCA during the XMM-Newton observation (Kalamkar et al. 2010, ATel #2881).

We thank the XMM-Newton Science Observation Centre for their extremely prompt scheduling of our TOO and help in the quick-look analysis.

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