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Welcome to the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre

XMM-Newton Essentials
The European Space Agency's (ESA) X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton) was launched by an Ariane 504 on December 10th 1999. XMM-Newton is ESA's second cornerstone of the Horizon 2000 Science Programme. It carries 3 high throughput X-ray telescopes with an unprecedented effective area, and an optical monitor, the first flown on a X-ray observatory. The large collecting area and ability to make long uninterrupted exposures provide highly sensitive observations.

Since Earth's atmosphere blocks out all X-rays, only a telescope in space can detect and study celestial X-ray sources. The XMM-Newton mission is helping scientists to solve a number of cosmic mysteries, ranging from the enigmatic black holes to the origins of the Universe itself. Observing time on XMM-Newton is being made available to the scientific community, applying for observational periods on a competitive basis.

Read more about the spacecraft, mirrors and instruments and about the XMM-Newton SOC.

News and Highlights

Planetary Nebula Born-again planetary nebula, 27-Jul-2015
Beneath the vivid hues of this eye-shaped cloud, named Abell 78, a tale of stellar life and death is unfolding. At the centre of the nebula, a dying star - not unlike our Sun - which shed its outer layers on its way to oblivion has, for a brief period of time, come back to echo its past glory.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images pages.

Patch to SAS 14.0.0, 30-Jun-2015 New

XSA v8.5 released, 30-Jun-2015 New

Circinius X-1 Circinus X-1: Astronomers Discover X-ray Rings around Neutron Star, 24-Jun-2015
Astronomers using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton telescope have discovered a bright X-ray light echo in the form of four well-defined rings around the neutron star at the center of an X-ray binary system called Circinus X-1. The new Chandra data have also provided a rare opportunity to determine the distance to this bizarre system.
Further details on the Sci-News web portal.

XMM-Newton self-portrait XMM-Newton self-portraits with planet Earth, 26-May-2015
This series of images was taken 15 years ago, a couple of months after the launch of ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory. These unique views, showing parts of the spacecraft main body and solar wings, feature a guest of honour - Earth - which crosses the field of view from left to right, as the satellite slews across our planet.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images pages.

3XMM-DR5 A new version of the largest catalogue of X-ray detected astrophysical objects, 28-Apr-2015
The fifth data release of the XMM-Newton serendipitous source catalogue (3XMM-DR5), the largest catalogue of X-ray sources ever created, contains 565962 X-ray detections, ranging from nearby objects in our Solar System to supermassive black holes at the edge of the Universe.
Further details on IRAP's web portal.

Intense X-rays Intense X-rays sculpt Thor’s neon-hued helmet, 20-Apr-2015
This brightly coloured scene shows a giant cloud of glowing gas and dust known as NGC 2359. This is also dubbed the Thor’s Helmet nebula, due to the arching arms of gas stemming from the central bulge and curving towards the top left and right of the frame, creating a shape reminiscent of the Norse god’s winged helmet.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology pages.

Black Hole Winds Widespread wind from black hole can shape star formation, 19-Feb-2015
Astronomers have discovered that the winds from supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies are blasted out in all directions. This new finding was made possible by observations with ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's NuSTAR X-ray telescopes.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology pages.

Planetary Nebula XMM-Newton and Hubble view of Jupiter’s Ghost, 02-Feb-2015
Names of astronomical objects are often ambiguous, especially when the historical designation of a certain class of celestial body preceded their physical understanding and was based on their appearance in the sky.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images pages.

Galaxy Cluster Caught in the act: collision of two galaxy clusters ends almost deadly, 16-Jan-2015
Recent observations of the galaxy cluster RXCJ2359.5-6042 with the XMM-Newton space observatory reveal evidence for an ongoing merger that strips the smaller system of much of its gas.
Further details on the MPE portal and on National Geographic's pages.

Today's Revolution

Refereed Papers

Current Target
1ES 1553+113

Announcement of Opportunity (AO-15)
Opening: 25 August 2015
Proposals due: 9 October 2015 (12:00 UT)
ESA Research Fellowships
Applications due: 1 October 2015
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This page was last updated on 10 February, 2015.