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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

Black Hole Black hole caught feasting on a star, 21-Oct-2015
Astronomers have detected the last 'cry' from a star that passed too close to the central black hole of its host galaxy and was being destroyed and 'swallowed' – a phenomenon known as a tidal disruption event. The study, based on the observations of X-rays emitted by leftover material from the star in the vicinity of the black hole, allowed the astronomers to measure, for the first time, the physical properties of a newly formed accretion disc, enabling them to investigate the initial phases of such a powerful event.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology pages.

XMM-Newton AO-15 closure, 13-Oct-2015 New

RPS XMM-Newton 15th Announcement of Opportunity (AO-15), 25-Aug-2015
The XMM-Newton Fifteenth Announcement of Opportunity is now open and observing proposals may be submitted.
The deadline is 9 October 2015, 12:00 UT
Further details here on our XMM-Newton SOC Website.

XMM-Newton Announcement of Opportunity (AO-15):
  - Letter of Invitation by the ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration, 25-Aug-2015
  - Time line for Phase II proposal submission, 25-Aug-2015

Galaxy Centre The tumultuous heart of our galaxy, 20-Aug-2015
This new image of powerful remnants of dead stars and their mighty action on the surrounding gas from ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory reveals some of the most intense processes taking place at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
Further details on ESA's Space Science portal.

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

XSA v8.5 released, 30-Jun-2015

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.

Today's Revolution

Refereed Papers

Current Target
Slewing to target

Announcement of Opportunity (AO-15)
Approved Programme: by late December 2015
Workshop: "XMM-Newton: The Next Decade"
Opening of Registration/Abstracts:
14 Jan 2016

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This page was last updated on 17 November, 2015.