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

heavy-metals-hint-at-an-unusually-dense-white-dwarfHeavy Metals Hint at an Unusually Dense White Dwarf 20-Sep-2021
A team of astronomers led by Yuken Ohshiro (University of Tokyo) used X-ray observations from the space-based XMM-Newton observatory to detect the presence of heavy metals in supernova remnant 3C 397.
Further details on AAS Nova web portal.

astronomers-locate-the-source-of-high-energy-cosmic-raysAstronomers Locate the Source of High-Energy Cosmic Rays 31-Aug-2021
Roughly a century ago, scientists began to realize that some of the radiation we detect in Earth’s atmosphere is not local in origin... For the sake of their study, the team relied on data obtained by the HESS, a VHE gamma-ray observatory located in Namibia combined with X-ray data obtained by the ESA’s X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton).
Further details on Universe Today web portal.

XIPSXMM-Newton 21st Announcement of Opportunity (AO-21) 17-Aug-2021
The XMM-Newton Twenty-first Announcement of Opportunity is now open and observing proposals may be submitted.
The deadline is 8 October 2021, 12:00 UT
Further details here on our XMM-Newton SOC website.

first-detection-light-behind-black-holeStanford astrophysicists report first detection of light from behind a black hole 29-Jul-2021
Fulfilling a prediction of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, researchers report the first-ever recordings of X-ray emissions from the far side of a black hole. This work was supported by the NASA NuSTAR and XMM-Newton Guest Observer programs.
Further details on Stanford News web portal.

XMM-Newton_sees_light_echo_from_behind_a_black_holeXMM-Newton sees light echo from behind a black hole 29-Jul-2021
For the first time, astronomers have seen light coming from behind a black hole. Using ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s NuSTAR space telescopes, an international team of scientists led by Dan Wilkins of Stanford University observed extremely bright flares of X-ray light coming from around a black hole.
Further details on ESA's Science & Exploration web portal.

Mystery_of_what_causes_Jupiter_s_X-ray_aurorasThe mystery of what causes Jupiter’s X-ray auroras is solved 12-Jul-2021
The 40-year-old mystery of what causes Jupiter’s X-ray auroras has been solved. For the first time, astronomers have seen the entire mechanism at work – and it could be a process occurring in many other parts of the Universe too.
Further details on ESA's Science & Exploration web portal.