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


5000 Papers 5000+ XMM-Newton Papers, 24-Apr-2017
The XMM-Newton observatory has crossed a major milestone, to date having accumulated 5,000 science papers in the refereed literature.

Further details here on our XMM-Newton SOC portal.

Pulsar Rapid changes point to origin of ultra-fast black hole winds, 01-Mar-2017
ESA and NASA space telescopes have made the most detailed observation of an ultra-fast wind flowing from the vicinity of a black hole at nearly a quarter of the speed of light.

Further details on ESA's Space Science portal.

Pulsar ESA Satellite Spots Brightest Known Pulsar, 21-Feb-2017
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) XMM-Newton satellite has detected the brightest and farthest known pulsar --- a whirling, x ray-emitting, magnetized neutron star some 40 million light years away.

Further details on Forbes's pages.

Pulsar The brightest, furthest pulsar in the Universe, 21-Feb-2017
ESA's XMM-Newton has found a pulsar - the spinning remains of a once-massive star – that is a thousand times brighter than previously thought possible.

Further details on ESA's Space Science portal.

Black Hole Black Hole Meal Sets Record for Length and Size, 06-Feb-2017
A giant black hole ripped apart a star and then gorged on its remains for about a decade, according to astronomers. This is more than ten times longer than any observed episode of a star's death by black hole. Researchers made this discovery using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Swift satellite as well as ESA's XMM-Newton.

Further details on NASA's Chandra pages.

Rapid Burster Mind the Gap: Rapid Burster behaviour explained, 31-Jan-2017
Scientists observing a curious neutron star in a binary system known as the 'Rapid Burster' may have solved a forty-year-old mystery surrounding its puzzling X-ray bursts.

Further details on ESA's Science & Technology portal.

M81 False-colour view of galaxy M81, 19-Dec-2016
An important part of studying celestial objects is understanding and removing the background noise. The image presented here was created to demonstrate the power of software tools used to analyse observations by ESA's XMM-Newton of large objects like galaxies, clusters of galaxies and supernova remnants.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images portal.