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

2023-05-x-ray-heart-powerful-quasarsAn X-ray look at the heart of powerful quasars 22-May-2023
Researchers have observed the X-ray emission of the most luminous quasar seen in the last 9 billion years of cosmic history, known as SMSS J114447.77-430859.3, or J1144 for short. The new perspective sheds light on the inner workings of quasars and how they interact with their environment. For this study, researchers combined observations from several space-based observatories: the eROSITA instrument on board the Spectrum-Roentgen-Gamma (SRG) observatory, the ESA XMM-Newton observatory...
Further details on Phys.org web portal.

2023-05-ultra-fast-space-evolution-galaxiesThe ultra-fast space winds that shape the evolution of galaxies 4-May-2023
The research project is called SUBWAYS (SUper massive Black hole Winds in the x-rAYS) and the first results have been published in two papers in Astronomy & Astrophysics. The first of these, led by scholars from the University of Bologna and INAF, is mainly based on data obtained from ESA's XMM-Newton space telescope.
Further details on Phys.org web portal.

scientists-map-gusty-winds-in-a-far-off-neutron-star-systemScientists map gusty winds in a far-off neutron star system 12-Apr-2023
MIT astronomers mapped the “disk winds” associated with the accretion disk around Hercules X-1, a system in which a neutron star is drawing material away from a sun-like star, represented as the teal sphere. The findings may offer clues to how supermassive black holes shape entire galaxies.
Further details on Physics MIT web portal.

2023-04-astronomers-x-ray-spectral-variability-galaxyAstronomers investigate X-ray spectral variability of active galaxy NGC 7582 10-Apr-2023
Using ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's NuSTAR space telescopes, astronomers have observed a nearby active galaxy known as NGC 7582. Results of the observational campaign, published March 30 on the arXiv pre-print server, shed more light on the X-ray spectral variability of NGC 7582's active galactic nucleus (AGN).
Further details on Phys.org web portal.

Brightest_gamma-ray_burst_illuminates_our_galaxy_as_never_beforeBrightest gamma-ray burst illuminates our galaxy as never before 29-Mar-2023
ESA space telescopes have observed the brightest gamma-ray burst ever seen. Data from this rare event could become instrumental in understanding the details of the colossal explosions that create gamma-ray bursts (GRBs).
Further details on ESA's Science & Exploration web portal.

astronomers-discovered-helium-burning-white-dwarfAstronomers discovered helium-burning white-dwarf 28-Mar-2023
The team has found a binary star system in which matter flows onto the white dwarf from its companion. Bright, so-called supersoft X-rays that result from the nuclear fusion of the spilled gas close to the white dwarf’s surface led to the discovery of the system.
Further details on Tech Explorist web portal.