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

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.

Orphan_cloud_discovered_in_galaxy_cluster_pillars MOrphan cloud discovered in galaxy cluster 29-Jun-2021
New observations made with ESA’s X-ray XMM Newton telescope have revealed an “orphan cloud” – an isolated cloud in a galaxy cluster that is the first discovery of its kind.A lot goes on in a galaxy cluster. There can be anything from tens to thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity.
Further details on ESA's Science & Exploration web portal.

NorthernClump-RGB_cropped Matter highway in space makes galaxy clusters grow 28-Jun-2021
Six months ago, astronomers at the University of Bonn reported the discovery of an extremely long intergalactic gas filament with the X-ray telescope eROSITA...To do this, the researchers combined images from several sources: the SRG/eROSITA, XMM-Newton and Chandra satellites.
Further details on Argelander-Institut für Astronomie web portal.

39783small The EXTraS project: Exploring the X-ray Transient and variable Sky 25-Jun-2021
Everything flows. Time is a fundamental perception in our life. In this paper, De Luca and collaborators investigate the timing properties of ~400,000 X-ray sources found in the XMM-Newton database for over 10 years of observations.
Further details on Astronomy & Astrophysics web portal.

3C-397 Scientists measured the central density of a white dwarf for the first time 10-Jun-2021
An international collaboration recently measured the central density of white dwarf just before exploding as a so-called Type Ia supernova. Using data obtained from the astronomical satellite XMM-Newton, they made observations of the supernova remnant 3C 397 and measured its central density.
Further details on Tech Explorist web portal.

New X-ray map reveals growing supermassive black holes in next-gen survey fields New X-ray map reveals growing supermassive black holes in next-gen survey fields 08-Jun-2021
One of the largest X-ray surveys using the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton space observatory has mapped nearly 12,000 X-ray sources across three large, prime regions of the sky.The X-ray sources represent active galactic nuclei and galaxy clusters...
Further details on Penn State web portal.