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 Star Shredded by Rare Breed of Black Hole, 18-Jun-2018
ESA's XMM-Newton observatory has discovered the best-ever candidate for a very rare and elusive type of cosmic phenomenon: a medium-weight black hole in the process of tearing apart and feasting on a nearby star.
Further details on ESA's Space Science portal.

NGC 3199 Star-circling bubble of gas, 11-Jun-2018
This turbulent celestial palette of purple and yellow shows a bubble of gas named NGC 3199, blown by a star known as WR18 (Wolf-Rayet 18). The image was taken by the European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) on ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray space observatory, and marks different patches of gas in different colours.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images portal.

Neutron Star Merger Cosmic Blast Takes Rest at Last, 31-May-2018
Last year, the first detection of gravitational waves linked to a gamma-ray burst triggered a vast follow-up campaign to study the aftermath of the neutron star merger that gave rise to the explosion. ESA's XMM-Newton observations, obtained a few months after the discovery, caught the moment when its X-ray emission stopped increasing...
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology portal.

Intermediate mass black hole Mysterious Medium-Size Black Holes May Lurk at the Centers of Small Galaxies, 23-May-2018
The hearts of small galaxies may hide a mysterious kind of black hole that has long proved elusive: medium-size black holes. Investigators searched data from the Chandra, XMM-Newton and Swift orbital X-ray observatories.
Further details on Space.com portal.

Galactic Halo Where is the Universe’s missing matter?, 18-Apr-2018
Astronomers using ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory have probed the gas-filled haloes around galaxies in a quest to find 'missing' matter thought to reside there, but have come up empty-handed - so where is it?
Further details on ESA's Space Science portal.

Perseus Cluster Perseus cluster: Scientists surprised by relentless cosmic cold front, 03-Apr-2018
A gigantic and resilient "cold front" hurtling through the Perseus galaxy cluster has been studied using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory - for regions close to the center of the cluster - along with data from ESA's XMM-Newton and the now-defunct German Roentgen (ROSAT) satellite for regions farther out.
Further details on Phys.org pages.