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


Cillian Murphy and Amy Joyce Budding scientists to reach for the stars at the European Space Agency, 12-Dec-2018
The Irish Research Council has announced today that two Irish scientists have won a national competition to train at the European Space Agency (ESA).
Further details on the Irish Research Council web page.

Riccardo Giacconi Prof. Riccardo Giacconi (1931 - 2018), 11-Dec-2018
It is with great regret that we have learned of the passing of Prof Riccardo Giacconi on Sunday 9 December. Giacconi received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering work in X-ray astronomy and XMM-Newton science and discoveries are part of his legacy to X-ray astronomy.
The XMM-Newton community will always be thankful to Giacconi for his extensive contributions.
Further details on our XMM-Newton SOC portal.

Pulsar J1826-1256 From gamma rays to X-rays: new method pinpoints previously unnoticed pulsar emission, 21-Nov-2018
Based on a new theoretical model, a team of scientists explored the rich data archive of ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's Chandra space observatories to find pulsating X-ray emission from three sources.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology portal.

LMT International Team of Researchers Uses the Large Millimeter Telescope to Observe a Powerful Molecular Wind in an Active Spiral Galaxy, 30-Oct-2018
An international team of astrophysicists using the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) in central Mexico has detected an unexpected and powerful outflow of molecular gas in a distant active galaxy similar to the Milky Way.
Further details on the University of Massachusetts Amherst portal.

Cold Front Ancient cold front in Perseus, 29-Oct-2018
A gigantic cold front in the Perseus galaxy cluster has been observed by a trio of X-ray telescopes: NASA's Chandra X-Ray observatory, ESA's XMM-Newton and the German Aerospace Centre-led ROSAT satellite.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images portal.

EXOSAT History of X-ray Astronomy in Europe: From EXOSAT to Athena, 12-Oct-2018
The history of X-ray astronomy spans no more than a few decades. Observations in this part of the spectrum had to await the 'space era', with rocket launchers that could carry X-ray telescopes above the Earth's atmosphere, opaque to this type of radiation.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology portal.

X-ray Glow Hot X-ray glow from massive cluster of galaxies, 08-Oct-2018
Astronomers using ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory have captured the X-ray glow (shown here in purple) emitted by the hot gas that pervades the galaxy cluster XLSSC006.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images portal.