The European Space Agency is carefully monitoring the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic and has studied different scenarios for the operations of its fleet of missions in this difficult situation. During the last weeks we have put in place procedures which guarantee the safety of our spacecrafts and their instruments. Under most scenarios we will also be able to continue with science operations and observations. Therefore, minimal impact is expected for the scientific community. Nevertheless our ability to react to Targets of Opportunity / triggered observations may be affected.

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

Runaway Star Might Explain Black Hole's Disappearing Act Runaway Star Might Explain Black Hole's Disappearing Act 16-Jul-2020
The telltale sign that the black hole was feeding vanished, perhaps when a star interrupted the feast. The event could lend new insight into these mysterious objects.
Further details on NASAS's web portal.

XMM-Newton spies youngest baby pulsar ever discovered XMM-Newton spies youngest baby pulsar ever discovered 17-Jun-2020
An observation campaign led by ESA’s XMM-Newton space observatory reveals the youngest pulsar ever seen – the remnant of a once-massive star – that is also a ‘magnetar’, sporting a magnetic field some 70 quadrillion times stronger than that of Earth.
Further details on ESA's Science & Exploration portal.

Black hole’s heart still beating Black hole’s heart still beating 10-Jun-2020
The first confirmed heartbeat of a supermassive black hole is still going strong more than ten years after first being observed. X-ray satellite observations spotted the repeated beat after its signal had been blocked by our Sun for a number of years. Our astronomers say this is the most long lived heartbeat ever seen in a black hole...
Further details on Durham University web portal.

Scientists detect heartbeat of super massive black hole 600 million light years away Scientists detect heartbeat of super massive black hole 600 million light years away 10-Jun-2020
Scientists have confirmed that the heartbeat of a super massive black hole is still going strong after ten years. Astronomers say this is the longest living heartbeat ever seen in a black hole, and that it can help to tell scientists more about its size and the space around it.
Further details on BBC web portal.

Andrew  Fabian Andrew Fabian 27-May-2020
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics for 2020 to Andrew Fabian “for his groundbreaking research in the field of observational X-ray astronomy, covering a wide range of topics from gas flows in clusters of galaxies to supermassive black holes at the heart of galaxies.”
Further details on the Kavli Prize portal.

A bent bridge between two galaxy clusters A bent bridge between two galaxy clusters, 11-May-2020
A new study, based on data from ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatories, sheds new light on a three million light-year long bridge of hot gas linking two galaxy clusters, whose shape is being bent by the mighty activity of a nearby supermassive black hole.
Further details on ESA's Science & Exploration portal.