Welcome to the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre
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
A pair of supermassive black holes in orbit around one another have been spotted by XMM-Newton. This is the first time such a pair have been seen in an ordinary galaxy. They were discovered because they ripped apart a star when the space observatory happened to be looking in their direction.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology pages.
Massive stars are born in tumultuous clouds of gas and dust. They lead a brief but intense life, blowing powerful winds of particles and radiation that strike their surroundings, before their explosive demise as supernovas. The interplay between massive stars and their environment is revealed in this image of the star-forming region ON2. It combines X-ray coverage from ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory with an infrared view from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images portal.
The "Magnificent Seven" is a group of thermal X-ray emitting isolated neutron stars whose properties are closer to magnetars than classical rotationally powered pulsars. To date, rotational periods have been determined for all but RX J1605+3249. This paper reports the XMM-Newton successful detection of pulsed emission, a period of 3.38 sec, and evidence of a spindown that implies a dipole field of about 7 x 1013G.
Further details on the Astronomy & Astrophysics portal.
Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's (ESA's) XMM-Newton to show a supermassive black hole six billion light years from Earth is spinning extremely rapidly. This first direct measurement of the spin of such a distant black hole is an important advance for understanding how black holes grow over time.
Further details on the Chandra X-ray Observatory pages.
The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as M51 or NGC 5194, is one of the most spectacular examples of a spiral galaxy. With two spiral arms curling into one another in a billowing swirl, this galaxy hosts over a hundred billion stars and is currently merging with its companion, the smaller galaxy NGC 5195.
Further details on the ESA Space in Images pages.
A team of astronomers led by the PhD student Ms. Ping Zhou from the University of Nanjing in China discovered a new transient magnetar. This magnetar, the ninth of its class, was identified during a COSPAR Capacity Building Workshop for young researchers in developing countries.
Further details on the COSPAR portal.
XMM-Newton Users Group Meeting #15
ESAC, 10-11 April 2014
14th XMM-Newton SAS Workshop
ESAC, 2-6 June 2014
Pre-registration deadline: 15 April
Symposium "The X-ray Universe 2014"
Dublin, 16-19 June 2014
Abstract Subm. deadline passed.
Poster submission still possible
Early Registration until 28 Apr
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