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


Crab Nebula in ultraviolet Crab Nebula in ultraviolet, 19-Mar-2018
The Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant some 6500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Taurus. The image shown here is in ultraviolet light taken by ESA’s XMM-Newton telescope, which has been surveying the sky since 2000.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images portal.

Rho Ophiuchi A XMM-Newton spies first clear X-ray flares from massive stellar lighthouse, 26-Feb-2018
In 2014, ESA's XMM-Newton spotted X-rays emanating from the massive star Rho Ophiuchi A and, last year, found these to ebb and flow periodically in the form of intense flares – both unexpected results.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology pages.

Stellar Winds Stellar winds behaving unexpectedly, 02-Feb-2018
ESA's XMM-Newton has spotted surprising changes in the powerful streams of gas from two massive stars, suggesting that colliding stellar winds don't behave as expected.
Further details on ESA's Space Science web portal.

Crescent Nebula Crescent Nebula, 11-Dec-2017
A young massive star that began life around 25 times more massive than our own Sun is shedding shells of material and fast winds to create this dynamic scene captured by ESA’s XMM-Newton.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images web portal.

Jupiter's ultraviolet auroras Surprisingly erratic X-ray auroras discovered at Jupiter, 30-Oct-2017
ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's Chandra X-ray space telescopes have revealed that, unlike Earth's polar lights, the intense auroras seen at Jupiter's poles unexpectedly behave independently of one another.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology web portal.