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

Telescopes-Paint-Stunning-View-Of-Galaxy-Cluster-With-Black-Hole-JetsTelescopes Paint Stunning View Of Galaxy Cluster With Black Hole Jets 8-Apr-2024
Views of a massive galaxy cluster Abell 2256 have been captured by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA’s XMM-Newton and three radio telescopes (LOFAR, the GMRT and the VLA). See a composite of all the views here. Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Hobart
Further details on Space.com web portal.

persistent-hiccups-draws-astronomers-new-black-hole-behavior-0327Persistent “hiccups” in a far-off galaxy draw astronomers to new black hole behavior 1-Apr-2024
“This is a brilliant example of how to use the debris from a disrupted star to illuminate the interior of a galactic nucleus which would otherwise remain dark. It is akin to using fluorescent dye to find a leak in a pipe,” says Richard Saxton, an X-ray astronomer from the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Madrid, who was not involved in the study.
Further details on MIT News web portal and Astronomický ústav AV ČR youtube channel.

2024-03-cataclysmic-variable-astronomersNew cataclysmic variable discovered by astronomers 1-Apr-2024
By analyzing the data from ESA's XMM-Newton and Gaia satellites, astronomers from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) in Germany and elsewhere have detected a new magnetic cataclysmic variable system, most likely of the polar type.
Further details on Phys.org web portal.

stunning-echo-of-800-year-old-explosionMarvel at stunning echo of 800-year-old explosion 26-Mar-2024
In the year 1181 a rare supernova explosion appeared in the night sky, staying visible for 185 consecutive days [...]. X-ray observations by ESA’s XMM-Newton show the full extent of the nebula and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory pinpoints its central source.
Further details on ESA web portal.

variability-nearby-ultra-fast-rotatingObservations inspect variability of a nearby ultra-fast rotating active star 07-Mar-2024
Results of the observational campaign, published February 29 on the pre-print server arXiv, provide crucial insights into the short-term and long-term variability of this star. [...] Analyzed data was mainly from ESA's XMM-Newton satellite.
Further details on Phys.org web portal.

black-hole-tantrumXMM-Newton spots a black hole throwing a tantrum 01-Feb-2024
Until now, this ultra-fast 'black hole wind' had only been detected coming from extremely bright accretion discs, which are at the limit of how much matter they can draw in. This time, XMM-Newton detected ultra-fast wind in a distinctly average galaxy which you could say was 'only snacking'.
Further details on ESA web portal.