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

 

Rethinking cosmology: Universe expansion may not be uniform Rethinking cosmology: Universe expansion may not be uniform, 08-Apr-2020
Astronomers have assumed for decades that the Universe is expanding at the same rate in all directions. A new study based on data from ESA’s XMM-Newton, NASA’s Chandra and the German-led ROSAT X-ray observatories suggests this key premise of cosmology might be wrong.
Further details on ESA's Science & Exploration portal.

The most powerful black hole eruption in the Universe The most powerful black hole eruption in the Universe, 27-Feb-2020
Astronomers using ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra X-ray space observatories, along with radio telescopes on ground, have spotted the aftermath of the most powerful explosion ever seen in the Universe.
Further details on ESA's Science & Exploration portal.

XMM-Newton reveals giant flare from a tiny star XMM-Newton reveals giant flare from a tiny star, 20-Feb-2020
A star of about eight percent the Sun’s mass has been caught emitting an enormous 'super flare' of X-rays – a dramatic high-energy eruption that poses a fundamental problem for astronomers, who did not think it possible on stars that small.
Further details on ESA's Science & Exploration portal.

XMM-Newton maps black hole surroundings XMM-Newton maps black hole surroundings, 20-Jan-2020
Material falling into a black hole casts X-rays out into space - and now, for the first time, ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has used the reverberating echoes of this radiation to map the dynamic behaviour and surroundings of a black hole itself.
Further details on ESA's Science & Exploration portal.

XMM-NEWTON DISCOVERS SCORCHING GAS IN MILKY WAY'S HALO XMM-Newton discovers scorching gas in milky way's halo, 16-Jan-2020
ESA's XMM-Newton has discovered that gas lurking within the Milky Way's halo reaches far hotter temperatures than previously thought and has a different chemical make-up than predicted, challenging our understanding of our galactic home.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology portal.

FIRST SIGHTING OF HOY GAS SLOSHING IN GALAXY CLUSTER First sighting of hot gas sloshing in galaxy cluster, 10-Jan-2020
ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has spied hot gas sloshing around within a galaxy cluster - a never-before-seen behaviour that may be driven by turbulent merger events.
Further details on ESA's Science & Exploration portal.