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


X-RAY SERENDIPITY X-ray serendipity, 08-Jul-2019
The purple lines and blotches scattered across this image show something incredible: all of the X-ray sources that were serendipitously detected - that is, not intentionally targeted - by ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray space observatory from 2000 to 2017.
Further details on ESAS's Space in Images portal.

Galaxy Clusters X-rays reveal how cosmic giants meet, 24-Jun-2019
Scientists have uncovered an extremely powerful shock wave in a distant part of the Universe where two massive galaxy clusters appear to come into first contact ahead of merging. The study is based on data from several astronomical facilities, including ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray space observatory.
Further details on ESAS's Science & Technology portal.

Teacup Quasar Storm in the Teacup quasar, 06-May-2019
This image shows a quasar nicknamed the Teacup due to its shape. The Teacup is 1.1 billion light years away and was thought to be a dying quasar until recent X-ray observations with ESA's XMM-Newton telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray observatory shed new light on it.
Further details on ESAS's Space in Images portal.

Stargazing Technology to spot cancer Stargazing technology used to spot cancer, 08-Apr-2019
Cancer could be detected in patients far earlier by using the same technology used to observe stars millions of miles away, such as ion thrusters and X-ray optics similar to those deployed in ESA's XMM-Newton spacecraft.
Further details on GOV.UK pages.

Galactic chimneys and bubbles Giant 'chimneys' vent X-rays from Milky Way's core, 20-Mar-2019
By surveying the centre of our Galaxy, ESA’s XMM-Newton has discovered two colossal ‘chimneys’ funneling material from the vicinity of the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole into two huge cosmic bubbles.
Further details on ESA's Space Science portal.

Quasar 'Teacup' Quasar Causes Galactic Storms, 18-Mar-2019
SDSS J143029.88+133912.0, nicknamed the 'Teacup' because of its shape, is a quasar powered by a supermassive black hole. New data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton mission provide detailed information about the history of the eruptions of energy and particles produced by the black hole.
Further details on Sci-News pages.

NGC 300 Past and future generations of stars in NGC 300, 25-Feb-2019
This swirling palette of colours portrays the life cycle of stars in a spiral galaxy known as NGC 300. The different colours are derived from optical observations performed by MPG/ESO's Wide Field Imager (WFI) telescope at La Silla, Chile; infrared observations made with NASA's Spitzer space telescope; and data collected in X-rays by ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images portal.