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


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.

LMT International Team of Researchers Uses the Large Millimeter Telescope to Observe a Powerful Molecular Wind in an Active Spiral Galaxy, 30-Oct-2018
An international team of astrophysicists using the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) in central Mexico has detected an unexpected and powerful outflow of molecular gas in a distant active galaxy similar to the Milky Way.
Further details on the University of Massachusetts Amherst portal.

Cold Front Ancient cold front in Perseus, 29-Oct-2018
A gigantic cold front in the Perseus galaxy cluster has been observed by a trio of X-ray telescopes: NASA's Chandra X-Ray observatory, ESA's XMM-Newton and the German Aerospace Centre-led ROSAT satellite.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images portal.

EXOSAT History of X-ray Astronomy in Europe: From EXOSAT to Athena, 12-Oct-2018
The history of X-ray astronomy spans no more than a few decades. Observations in this part of the spectrum had to await the 'space era', with rocket launchers that could carry X-ray telescopes above the Earth's atmosphere, opaque to this type of radiation.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology portal.

X-ray Glow Hot X-ray glow from massive cluster of galaxies, 08-Oct-2018
Astronomers using ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory have captured the X-ray glow (shown here in purple) emitted by the hot gas that pervades the galaxy cluster XLSSC006.
Further details on ESA's Space in Images portal.

XXL Survey Tracing the Universe: X-ray survey supports standard cosmological model, 04-Oct-2018
Scanning the sky for X-ray sources, ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has been busy with the XXL Survey, its largest observational programme to date. The second batch of data from the survey has just been released.
Further details on ESA's Science & Technology portal.

Black Hole Matter falling into a black hole at 30 percent of the speed of light, 24-Sep-2018
A UK team of astronomers report the first detection of matter falling into a black hole at 30% of the speed of light. The team used data from the European Space Agency's X-ray observatory XMM-Newton to observe the black hole.
Further details on the Royal Astronomical Society web portal.