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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


Exploding blue supergiant star Bizarre nearby blast mimics Universe's most ancient stars, 11-Jul-2014
ESA’s XMM-Newton observatory has helped to uncover how the Universe’s first stars ended their lives in giant explosions. Astronomers studied the gamma-ray burst GRB130925A using space- and ground-based observatories.
Further details on ESA's Space Science pages and on ESA's Science & Technology pages.

Active Galaxy Athena to study the hot and energetic Universe, 27-Jun-2014
ESA has selected the Athena advanced telescope for high-energy astrophysics as its second 'Large-class' science mission. The observatory will study the hot and energetic Universe and takes the 'L2' slot in ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015–25 plan, with a launch foreseen in 2028.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology pages.

Nanda Rea Award for European scientist who solved a magnetic mystery, 26-Jun-2014
The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and the Russian Academy of Sciences have nominated Nanda Rea, an assistant professor at the Institute of Space Sciences (CSIC-IEEC) in Barcelona and the Anton Pannekoek Institute (API) at the University of Amsterdam, for a prestigious Zeldovich Medal.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology pages.

Dark matter Puzzling X-rays point to dark matter, 24-Jun-2014
Astronomers using ESA and NASA high-energy observatories have discovered a tantalising clue that hints at an elusive ingredient of our Universe: dark matter.
Further details on ESA's Space Science pages.

The Bullet Group Cosmic collision in the Bullet Group, 06-Jun-2014
Galaxies are not as isolated as they at first glance may seem; on a cosmic scale they congregate in clumps along with dark matter and hot gas. The colourful blob in this new composite image, based on data from several telescopes including ESA's XMM-Newton, is the group of galaxies known as the Bullet Group.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology pages.

Pulsating X-rays Pulsating X-rays allow XMM-Newton to unmask a mysterious star, 03-Jun-2014
XMM-Newton has revealed a unique star. It is a celestial chimera with the body of a normal massive star yet the magnetic field of a dead, stellar dwarf. This makes it a singular object among the billions of known stars.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology pages.

Hidden Black Holes Unique pair of hidden black holes discovered by XMM-Newton, 22-Apr-2014
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.

ON2 Star-forming region ON2, 24-Mar-2014
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.

Magnificent Seven XMM-Newton reveals a candidate period for the spin of the "Magnificent Seven" neutron star RX J1605.3+3249, 11-Mar-2014
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.

Today's Revolution

Refereed Papers
3772

Current Target
1ES 1553+11.3

Events
Fourteenth Announcement of Opportunity (AO-14)
AO opening: 26 August 2014
Proposals due: 10 October 2014 (12:00 UT)

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This page was last updated on 28 June, 2013.