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

untangling-a-knot-of-galaxy-clustersUntangling a Knot of Galaxy Clusters 2-Feb-2023
Astronomers have captured a spectacular, ongoing collision between at least three galaxy clusters. Data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) XMM-Newton, and a trio of radio telescopes is helping astronomers sort out what is happening in this jumbled scene.
Further details on NASA's web portal.

curious_comet_s_rare_close_approachCurious comet’s rare close approach 1-Feb-2023
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) today makes its closest approach to Earth before likely leaving our Solar System forever. Many ESA missions have been observing Comet ZTF, even those not focussed on Solar System science. XMM-Newton is one of them, one of the most powerful X-ray telescopes ever placed into orbit.
Further details on ESA's Space & Safety web portal.

meet-the-aas-keynote-speakers-dr-erin-karaMeet the AAS Keynote Speakers: Prof. Erin Kara 23-Jan-2023
At this year’s AAS meeting, Erin Kara is being honored with the 2022 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy for her innovative and sustained contributions to high-energy astrophysics.
Further details on Astrobites web portal.

XMM-Newton_spies_black_holes_eating_the_same_stars_again_and_againXMM-Newton spies black holes eating the same stars again and again 12-Jan-2023
Two teams of astronomers using ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope have observed repeated outbursts of light from inactive black holes that partially destroy stars again and again.
Further details on ESA's Science & Exploration web portal.

2022-12-tidal-disruption-event-j150052-rapidlyTidal disruption event J150052 was caused by a rapidly spinning intermediate-mass black hole, study finds 9-Dec-2022
Using NASA's Chandra and ESA's XMM-Newton space telescopes, astronomers from the Radboud University in the Netherlands and elsewhere have conducted X-ray observations of a tidal disruption event designated 3XMM J150052.0+015452. The results show that J150052 was triggered by a rapidly spinning intermediate-mass black hole.
Further details on Phys.org web portal.

2022-12-pulsations-millisecond-pulsar-psr-j10230038Study investigates pulsations of the millisecond pulsar PSR J1023+0038 5-Dec-2022
European astronomers have conducted X-ray and optical observations of a transitional millisecond pulsar known as PSR J1023+0038. Results of the observational campaign, published November 23 on arXiv.org, yield important insights on the origins of pulsations of this source.
Further details on Phys.org web portal.