SPEX is a software package optimized for the analysis and interpretation of high-resolution cosmic X-ray spectra. The software is especially suited for fitting spectra obtained by current X-ray observatories like XMM-Newton, Chandra, Suzaku, and Hitomi. SPEX will be continuously improved to handle spectra from high-resolution X-ray instruments on future missions like Athena.

The advantages of SPEX 3.0

  • Fast fitting due to efficient memory and multi-core CPU usage
  • Optimal design of response matrices
  • Fit multiple spectra with different model components simultaneously
  • Handles highly complex models with many free parameters
  • Wide range of models available based on single atomic database
  • Contains up-to-date atomic data
  • Easy to fit grating spectra of spatially extended sources

SPEX package and Python tools

The SPEX package available on this site contains the main SPEX program and a few auxiliary programs written mainly in Fortran. In addition, a python toolbox called Pyspextools is available that is installed separately. This package contains scripts and methods to convert OGIP spectra to SPEX format, response generators for simulations and a python interface to create SPEX user models.

Important note

If you use SPEX for research that will appear in a scientific publication, then please add a reference to Kaastra, Mewe and Nieuwenhuijzen (1996) and a reference to the specific SPEX version on Zenodo. A&A tested BibTeX entries for these publications can be downloaded here.