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


Slew Catalogue Sources in XMM-Newton’s second slew catalogue, 15-May-2017
This colourful, seemingly abstract artwork is actually a map depicting all the celestial objects that were detected in the XMM-Newton slew survey between August 2001 and December 2014.

Further details on ESA's Space in Images pages.

Crab Nebula IMAGE RELEASE: A New Look at the Crab Nebula, 10-May-2017
Astronomers produced this dramatic new, highly-detailed image of the Crab Nebula by combining data from telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Further details on the NRAO portal.

Pulsar An Aging Pulsar has Captured a new Companion, and it’s Spinning back up Again, 01-May-2017
When massive stars reach the end of their life cycle, they explode in a massive supernova and cast off most of their material. What’s left is a “millisecond pulsar”.

Further details on Universe Today pages.

5000 Papers 5000+ XMM-Newton Papers, 24-Apr-2017
The XMM-Newton observatory has crossed a major milestone, to date having accumulated 5,000 science papers in the refereed literature.

Further details here on our XMM-Newton SOC portal.

Pulsar Rapid changes point to origin of ultra-fast black hole winds, 01-Mar-2017
ESA and NASA space telescopes have made the most detailed observation of an ultra-fast wind flowing from the vicinity of a black hole at nearly a quarter of the speed of light.

Further details on ESA's Space Science portal.

Pulsar ESA Satellite Spots Brightest Known Pulsar, 21-Feb-2017
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) XMM-Newton satellite has detected the brightest and farthest known pulsar --- a whirling, x ray-emitting, magnetized neutron star some 40 million light years away.

Further details on Forbes's pages.

Pulsar The brightest, furthest pulsar in the Universe, 21-Feb-2017
ESA's XMM-Newton has found a pulsar - the spinning remains of a once-massive star – that is a thousand times brighter than previously thought possible.

Further details on ESA's Space Science portal.