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


RPS XMM-Newton 16th Announcement of Opportunity (AO-16), 23-Aug-2016
The XMM-Newton Sixteenth Announcement of Opportunity is now open and observing proposals may be submitted.
The deadline is 7 October 2016, 12:00 UT

Further details here on our XMM-Newton SOC website.

Black Hole Gravitational vortex provides new way to study matter close to a black hole, 12-Jul-2016
ESA's orbiting X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, has proved the existence of a 'gravitational vortex' around a black hole. The discovery, aided by NASA's NuSTAR mission, solves a mystery that has eluded astronomers for more than 30 years.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology pages.

Accretion Disk around Black Hole X-ray Echoes of a Shredded Star Provide Close-up of 'Killer' Black Hole, 22-Jun-2016
Some 3.9 billion years ago in the heart of a distant galaxy, the intense tidal pull of a monster black hole shredded a star that passed too close.
Further details on NASA's web pages.

Wind Nebula Astronomers Find the First "Wind Nebula" Around a Magnetar , 21-Jun-2016
Astronomers have discovered a vast cloud of high-energy particles called a wind nebula around a rare ultra-magnetic neutron star, or magnetar, for the first time.
Further details on the NASA portal and on Science Daily's pages

High-Speed winds Powerful winds spotted from mysterious X-ray binaries, 28-Apr-2016
ESA's XMM-Newton has discovered gas streaming away at a quarter of the speed of light from very bright X-ray binaries in two nearby galaxies.
Further details on ESA's Space Science pages.

Spinning Neutron Star Found: Andromeda's first spinning neutron star, 31-Mar-2016
Decades of searching in the Milky Way's nearby 'twin' galaxy Andromeda have finally paid off, with the discovery of an elusive breed of stellar corpse, a neutron star, by ESA's XMM-Newton space telescope.
Further details on ESA's Space Science pages.

Winds from Spiral Galaxy A Milky Way twin swept by an ultra-fast X-ray wind, 14-Jan-2016
ESA's XMM-Newton has found a wind of high-speed gas streaming from the centre of a bright spiral galaxy like our own that may be reducing its ability to produce new stars.
Further details on ESA's Space Science pages.