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

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.

NASA-Scientists-Discover-a-Novel-Galactic-FossilNASA Scientists Discover a Novel Galactic ‘Fossil’ 17-Jan-2024
Researchers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, have discovered X-ray activity that sheds light on the evolution of galaxies. The work was made possible thanks to data collected by the ESA (European Space Agency) satellite XMM-Newton with help from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Further details on NASA web portal.

astronomers-bex-ray-binaryAstronomers discover new Be/X-ray binary system 16-Jan-2024
Astronomers from the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK and elsewhere report the detection of a new Be/X-ray binary. The newfound system, designated 4XMM J182531.5–144036, exhibits persistent X-ray emission. 4XMM J182531.5–144036 was initially detected as a hard X-ray source in April 2008 with ESA's XMM-Newton satellite.
Further details on Phys.org web portal.

super-Eddington-neutron-starNGC 2403 XMM4 is a super-Eddington neutron star, study finds 11-Jan-2024
By analyzing the data from various space telescopes, astronomers have performed a detailed study of an ultraluminous X-ray source known as NGC 2403 XMM4. They analyzed 20 years of observational data from XMM-Newton, Chandra, Swift and NuSTAR space telescopes.
Further details on Phys.org web portal.

researchers-investigate-pulsations-of-the-ultra-luminous-X-ray-pulsar-M82-X-2Researchers investigate pulsations of the ultra-luminous X-ray pulsar M82 X-2 08-Jan-2024
Using NASA's Chandra spacecraft and ESA's XMM-Newton satellite, Chinese astronomers have inspected the pulsations of an ultra-luminous X-ray pulsar known as M82 X-2. Results of the study indicate that the pulsar showcases a long-term spin-down trend.
Further details on Phys.org web portal.

the-elusive-atmosphere-of-wasp-12-b-high-resolution-transmission-spectroscopy-with-carmenesThe Elusive Atmosphere Of WASP-12 b / High-resolution Transmission Spectroscopy With CARMENES 06-Jan-2024
To date, the hot Jupiter WASP-12 b has been the only planet with confirmed orbital decay. The late F-type host star has been hypothesized to be surrounded by a large structure of circumstellar material evaporated from the planet. [...] To constrain the enigmatic activity state of WASP-12, we analyzed XMM-Newton X-ray data.
Further details on Astrobiology web portal.