A decade of X-ray astronomy with XMM-Newton
Publication date: 10 Dec 2009
Authors: Güdel, M.
Journal: Astronomy & Astrophysics
Copyright: ESOCommentary on: Jansen F., Lumb D., Altieri B., et al., 2001, A&A, 365, L1; Strüder L., Briel U., Dennerl K., et al., 2001, A&A, 365, L18; Turner M. J. L., Abbey A., Arnaud M., et al., 2001, A&A, 365, L27
The XMM-Newton X-ray observatory (previously known as the X-Ray Multi-Mirror Mission, XMM) was launched on 10 December 1999 by the first commercial Ariane 5 launch into a highly eccentric, 48 h orbit. XMM-Newton has been a key project of the European Space Agency (ESA), defined as a cornerstone mission in ESA's Horizon 2000 program. Nearly ten years after its launch, XMM-Newton operates flawlessly and has become a workhorse at the forefront of X-ray astronomy. The paper by Jansen et al. (2001), written by some of the key people in the project, is the defining post-launch paper for the XMM-Newton observatory, summarizing the key features of the satellite, various parts of the ground segment, software, and calibration. It is the opening article in a series of papers in the same A&A special issue (Vol. 365) that present more details on the instruments, software, and calibration, together with an impressive suite of ``first results' papers from across all fields of X-ray astronomy. The papers by Strüder et al. (2001) and Turner et al. (2001) describe the X-ray imaging cameras onboard (XMM-Newton) in detail.