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


Measuring the Expansion of the Universe Active galaxies point to new physics of cosmic expansion, 28-Jan-2019
Investigating the history of our cosmos with a large sample of distant ‘active’ galaxies observed by ESA’s XMM-Newton, a team of astronomers found there might be more to the early expansion of the Universe than predicted by the standard model of cosmology.
Further details on ESA's Space Science portal.

Supernova Team of telescopes finds X-ray engine inside mysterious supernova, 10-Jan-2019
ESA’s high-energy space telescopes Integral and XMM-Newton have helped to find a source of powerful X-rays at the centre of an unprecedentedly bright and rapidly evolving stellar explosion that suddenly appeared in the sky earlier this year.
Further details on ESA's Space Science portal.

Black hole devours a star XMM-Newton captures final cries of star shredded by black hole, 09-Jan-2019
Astronomers using ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory have studied a black hole devouring a star and discovered an exceptionally bright and stable signal that allowed them to determine the black hole's spin rate.
Further details on ESA's Space Science portal.

Cillian Murphy and Amy Joyce Budding scientists to reach for the stars at the European Space Agency, 12-Dec-2018
The Irish Research Council has announced today that two Irish scientists have won a national competition to train at the European Space Agency (ESA).
Further details on the Irish Research Council web page.

Riccardo Giacconi Prof. Riccardo Giacconi (1931 - 2018), 11-Dec-2018
It is with great regret that we have learned of the passing of Prof Riccardo Giacconi on Sunday 9 December. Giacconi received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering work in X-ray astronomy and XMM-Newton science and discoveries are part of his legacy to X-ray astronomy.
The XMM-Newton community will always be thankful to Giacconi for his extensive contributions.
Further details on our XMM-Newton SOC portal.

Pulsar J1826-1256 From gamma rays to X-rays: new method pinpoints previously unnoticed pulsar emission, 21-Nov-2018
Based on a new theoretical model, a team of scientists explored the rich data archive of ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's Chandra space observatories to find pulsating X-ray emission from three sources.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology portal.