XCalibur 2019

July 15-18 2019 • Winchester, UK

We have received reports of a company calling potential attendees regarding accommodation. This is a PHISHING SCAM. Please do not respond to them. The organisers have NOT contracted any accommodation and travel companies. Please let the organisers know if you receive such a contact.

Poster submission and attendance registration remains open. Programme of oral presentations to be announced in early April.


An unprecedented new window into observational cosmology and astrophysics was opened by the Hitomi X-ray mission, which used microcalorimeter technology to deliver X-ray observations of cosmic sources with < 5 eV spectral resolution. This regime represents a game-change in X-ray astronomy, enabling novel plasma physical condition and metallicity diagnostics, together with searches for fundamental new emission signatures such as the much-debated ~3.5 keV dark matter decay lines expected in the X-ray regime.

The new X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM - jointly funded by JAXA/NASA/ESA) is due to launch in the early 2020s. Beyond that, we can look forward to Athena, and possibly ARCUS, Super-DIOS or similar missions, in the 2030s to open this new regime wider.

The XCalibur 2019 workshop aims to bring together international experts (with non-experts very welcome) on X-ray spectroscopy to provide a forum for discussing the novel science enabled by these missions, to formulate the best way of exploiting the large new parameter space, and to strategize future observations. We also intend to have pedagogical reviews, as well as a Hitomi analysis hackathon session, which should be particularly beneficial for young scientists and non-experts in the field of high resolution X-ray spectroscopy. We hope to have an informal atmosphere with plenty of discussion time.

There is no better host city for this workshop than the historic town of Winchester, home to that great symbol of medieval mythology: the Round Table associated with King Arthur, wielder of the legendary Excalibur. The beautiful venue of the Winchester Guildhall allows for about 120 participants, and funding support may be available for a selected number of young scientists.

Social events will include a visit to historic Stonehenge.


The workshop will run for 3.5 days with invited and contributed talks, open discussion sessions, as well as posters focused on several broad themes:
• Physics of Extreme Hot Plasmas
• Compact Objects and Gravity
• Life Cycle of Baryons
• Energy flows and Feedback
• The Search for Dark Matter and New Physics
• Community Preparation for XRISM and Athena


• 25 Nov 2018: Pre-registration open.
• 10 Jan 2019: Registration open.
• 15 Feb 2019: Payment opens.
• 07 Mar 2019: Abstract submission deadline (for Talks).
• 03 Apr 2019: Programme announced.
• 20 Apr 2019: Registration deadline.
• 15 Jul 2019: Workshop.

Click here to Complete Registration and Pay.

Note that you may have to create an account with the University's Online Store. Standard registration fee of £220 funds the room hire, select lunches, and all refreshments. The Conference Dinner and the Excursion are costed separately. We have tried our best to keep registration costs low to widen participation. We should be able to provide financial support to selected participants. Preference will be given to students. If you wish to be considered for this, please contact the organisers in advance.

Click here to see who may be participating.

Invited Speakers

Kevork Abazajian (UCI) • Didier Barret (IRAP) • Graziella Branduardi-Raymont (UCL) • Chris Done (Durham) • Andrew Fabian (IoA) • Craig Heinke (Alberta) • Jelle Kaastra (SRON) • Erin Kara (MIT) • Julia Lee (Harvard) • Fabrizio Nicastro (Roma) • Makoto Tashiro (Saitama) • Francesco Tombesi (Roma) • Masahiro Tsujimoto (JAXA) • Yoshihiro Ueda (Kyoto, TBC)


Aya Bamba (Tokyo) • Pasquale di Bari (Southampton) • Maria Diaz Trigo (ESO) • Poshak Gandhi (Southampton) • Matteo Guainazzi (ESA) • Ian Jones (Southampton) • Richard Mushotzky (Maryland) • Christopher Reynolds (Cambridge) • Makoto Tashiro (Saitama)

Peter Boorman • Matthew Middleton • Claire Greenwell • Poshak Gandhi • Ian Jones (Southampton)

Financial Sponsors

University of Southampton STAG


Click here for preliminary accommodation information . This page will be updated in the coming months.



To contact the organising committee, please e-mail xcal2019@gmail.com


SO23 9GH