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


For the first time, astronomers have detected synchronised pulses of optical and X-ray radiation from a mysterious pulsar some 4500 light years away. The observations indicate that a new physical mechanism might be needed to explain the behaviour of fast-spinning sources like this one, known as transitional millisecond pulsars.
Further details on ESAS's Science & Technology portal.

Unexpected_periodic_flares_may_shed_light_on_black_hole_accretion unexpected periodic flares may shed light on black hole accretion, 12-Sep-2019
ESA’s X-ray space telescope XMM-Newton has detected never-before-seen periodic flares of X-ray radiation coming from a distant galaxy that could help explain some enigmatic behaviours of active black holes.
Further details on ESA's Space Science portal.

XMM-Newton Anniversary Products XMM-Newton Anniversary Products, 28-Jun-2019
Explore the scientific impact of ESA's XMM-Newton observatory for its 20th anniversary in space, as told by Ph.D. scientists whose work the mission enabled. XMM-Newton's telescopes and its ability to make long uninterrupted exposures provide highly sensitive observations of many targets, including active galaxies powered by supermassive black holes, star formation in galaxies, and X-ray flares from stars in our own Milky Way galaxy.
Further details on NASA's pages.

Cluster and XMM-Newton pave the way for smile Cluster and XMM-Newton pave the way for smile, 27-Aug-2019
The Solar wind-Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) mission is still four years away from launch, but scientists are already using existing ESA satellites, such as the XMM-Newton X-ray observatory and the Cluster mission studying Earth's magnetosphere, to pave the way for this pioneering venture.
Further details on ESAS's Science & Technology portal.

RPS XMM-Newton 19th Announcement of Opportunity (AO-19), 20-Aug-2019
The XMM-Newton Nineteenth Announcement of Opportunity is now open and observing proposals may be submitted.
The deadline is 11 October 2019, 12:00 UT
Further details here on our XMM-Newton SOC website.

How black holes shape galaxies How black holes shape galaxies , 24-Jul-2019
Data from ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has revealed how supermassive black holes shape their host galaxies with powerful winds that sweep away interstellar matter.
Further details on ESAS's Science & Technology portal.

 Happy birthday Chandra Happy birthday Chandra , 23-Jul-2019
Congratulations to colleagues and partners from the Chandra X-ray Observatory for their 20 years and counting of excellence science. Best wishes for many more years to come.
Further details in Chandra X-ray Observatory web pages.