News archive

News archive

An extra facility has been added to the network of ground stations used to control XMM-Newton. In addition to Perth and Kourou, flight controllers at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt are now also using a station in Santiago, Chile, to communicate with the spacecraft and receive its science data.
Published: 15 February 2001
With a spacecraft behaving admirably, a greatly improved efficiency in managing observations, and the extremely high-quality science data being returned, members of the XMM-Newton Science Working Team (SWT), who met in Spain on 23-24 January, were justifiably happy. Attendance was exceptional for this last SWT in its present form.
Published: 1 February 2001
Luminous starburst galaxies are where a lot of young stars are currently forming. They come in two different varieties: starbursts where the star creation is spread evenly throughout the galaxy and those where it is concentrated at its nucleus. Sometimes activity at the centre is so intense that fantastic 'bubbles' are created giving rise to streams of hot gas, or 'superwinds'. XMM-Newton has recently gained new insights into one such starburst galaxy, NGC 253.
Published: 29 January 2001
The first issue this year of the European scientific journal "Astronomy and Astrophysics" has just been published. It is a 352-page bumper edition devoted entirely to ESA's XMM-Newton mission with no less than 56 papers describing the spacecraft, its instruments and particularly the scientific results that have been obtained since the X-ray observatory was launched just over a year ago.
Published: 25 January 2001
Quasars are the most luminous known objects in the Universe. They can emit 1000 times the energy of our entire Galaxy, and this prodigious luminosity originates from objects only the size of our solar system. XMM-Newton has detected the X-rays of the most distant known quasar, providing a view of the Universe when it was less than 1 billion years old.
Published: 15 December 2000
The Andromeda galaxy (M31), only 2.6 million light years away, is an ideal field of study for X-ray astronomy. XMM-Newton has observed its galactic centre, revealing many new point sources and the probable presence of a very hot diffuse gas which contributes to the overal X-ray luminosity.
Published: 14 December 2000
Whilst producing impressive science results, ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's Chandra X-ray observatories have been weathering a truly harsh space environment. Radiation, which can hinder observations and even damage sensitive detectors aboard the two spacecraft has, at times, exceeded expected levels. During a three-day XMM-Newton workshop held at the mission's Science Operations Centre at VILSPA at the end of November, scientists have exchanged their findings and solutions to safeguard their missions.
Published: 11 December 2000

Providing new insights into black holes and unravelling the composition of intergalactic matter XMM-Newton is certainly living up to its promises. The European Space Agency has presented the first examples of the scientific results being provided by the new X-ray observatory.

Published: 5 December 2000
A year after launch, ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory is fully living up to its promise with a steady stream of fascinating data. To mark the anniversary and to present the first sample of the mission's scientific results, the media are invited to a press conference to be held at European Space Agency headquarters in Paris on 6 December.
Published: 23 November 2000
The long standing uncertainty over the origins of the X-ray background (XRB) may perhaps be a thing of the past. XMM-Newton observations are backing up the view that this faint glow of X-rays pervading the cosmos comes essentially from many individual but so-far undetected celestial objects and not just from the hot environment within galaxies.
Published: 2 November 2000
Twenty-one young European students from six countries have visited the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at Villafranca, Spain. The 16-18 year olds were participants in the XMM-Newton "Stargazing" competition held earlier this year.
Published: 29 October 2000
An ancient castle looks over ESA's VILSPA establishment, huddled inthe hills on the outskirts of Madrid. Its medieval stonework is thefirst to receive the early morning sunlight, then the line ofEuropean flags and the large white antennae which point skywards. On10 December last, one of these big dishes followed XMM-Newton as itclimbed into orbit.
Published: 19 October 2000
Ominously-named "Cataclysmic Variables" - CVs for short - are not the kind of solar systems one would like to approach. End points of stellar evolution, they are binary systems in which one star is sucking material out of its partner. They revolve around each other very rapidly, typically every few hours. CVs can also exhibit outbursts on the time scale of weeks to months. XMM-Newton has been observing one such cataclysmic variable, named OY Car.
Published: 19 October 2000
ESA XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, launched last December and now in its routine phase of observations, has a field of view large enough that whilst observing known targets it is also registering X-ray emission from many other objects in the neighbouring area of the sky.
Published: 19 October 2000
Galaxies in the Universe are often to be found in clusters. Our own Milky Way is a member of a small cluster of galaxies, the Local Group. But clusters also exist that contain thousands of galaxies. XMM-Newton has obtained a remarkably vivid mosaic of one of the most famous of these, the Coma cluster.
Published: 17 October 2000
Supernovae are one of the most cataclysmic events in the Universe, violent explosions by which stars end their lives. A star may then have a brightness over a billion times that of our Sun and outshine the galaxy in which it lies. Their effects can be observed centuries later. XMM-Newton has been observing the remnants of the Tycho supernova, named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe.
Published: 13 September 2000
XMM-Newton has this summer passed into its operational phase and NASA's Chandra X-ray observatory has just celebrated its first year in orbit. The world's foremost X-ray astronomy missions will now each be contributing to a greater understanding of the X-ray universe.
Published: 13 September 2000
After being detected using telescopes equipped with electronic CCD imaging cameras, ESA's X-ray space observatory has been sighted visually for the very first time.
Published: 21 June 2000
Behind the apparently simple brightness of certain stars there isoften a fascinating complexity. That is the case for the particularlyinteresting Castor stellar system upon which XMM-Newton has shed newlight.
Published: 19 June 2000
Serendipity, or chance discovery, plays a big role in astronomy. Observing one celestial target astronomers often find, in a corner of their telescope's field of view, another interesting and perhaps unknown object. XMM-Newton has made one such discovery.
Published: 5 June 2000
19-May-2024 01:19 UT

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