Latest XMM-Newton Stories

2010-07-01 06:20:00

Evidence for a recoiling black hole has been found using data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, XMM-Newton, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and several ground-based telescopes. This black hole kickback was caused either by a slingshot effect produced in a triple black hole system, or from the effects of gravitational waves produced after two supermassive black holes merged a few million years earlier. The discovery of this object, located in this composite image, comes from a large,...

2010-06-01 07:05:00

Surveying the sky, XMM-Newton has discovered two massive galaxy clusters, confirming a previous detection obtained through observations of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, the 'shadow' they cast on the Cosmic Microwave Background. The discovery, made possible thanks to a novel mosaic observing mode recently introduced on ESA's X-ray observatory, opens a new window to study the Universe's largest bound structures in a multi-wavelength approach. Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally...

2010-05-11 13:37:18

Using observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton, astronomers have announced a robust detection of a vast reservoir of intergalactic gas about 400 million light years from Earth. This discovery is the strongest evidence yet that the "missing matter" in the nearby Universe is located in an enormous web of hot, diffuse gas. This missing matter "” which is different from dark matter -- is composed of baryons, the particles, such as protons and electrons, that...

2010-04-29 10:55:00

New evidence from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton strengthens the case that two mid-sized black holes exist close to the center of a nearby starburst galaxy. These "survivor" black holes avoided falling into the center of the galaxy and could be examples of the seeds required for the growth of supermassive black holes in galaxies, including the one in the Milky Way. For several decades, scientists have had strong evidence for two distinct classes of black hole: the...

2010-04-28 11:15:00

One of the teams behind ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray mission has unveiled the latest edition of their 2XMM catalogue. The newest incarnation boasts an additional 42,000 entries, ratcheting up the total to over a quarter of a million X-ray sources. This unprecedented cosmic X-ray library is a valuable resource allowing astronomers to explore the extreme Universe. This latest edition of the 2XMM catalogue, an unrivalled storehouse of information on X-ray sources, is the largest ever assembled. It is...

2010-03-24 08:00:00

Our world is full of integrated semiconductor circuits, commonly known as microchips. Today you find them in computers, cars, mobile phones and in almost every electrical device. Technology from ESA's XMM-Newton space telescope will make these chips much smaller, faster and cheaper. The circuits are etched into today's microchips by ultraviolet light. The demand for faster and more powerful chips requires the use of extreme ultraviolet (EUV). Much smaller semiconductor circuits can be...

2009-12-21 08:20:00

As elements of the integrated circuits running our computers, phones and electronics, silicon wafers are everywhere. An ESA-led effort is establishing an out-of-this-world use for these commonplace items: when stacked together precisely by the thousand they promise to deliver astronomy's clearest X-ray view yet of the most violent regions of space. "ESA has been working with specialist European firms to develop this new optical technique and build up a supporting industry," said Marcos...

2009-12-10 16:25:00

Mission's decade of success peering into the final frontier XMM-Newton, the most powerful X-ray observatory ever built and launched into space, marks its 10th anniversary on December 10th. XMM-Newton's observations have revolutionized the way we view the hottest and most extreme regions of the Universe. Scientists from the UK who have played a pivotal role in the success of the orbiting observatory, which is the size of a small bus, will be marking the occasion at a special event in Madrid...

2009-09-03 13:35:00

ESA's XMM-Newton orbiting X-ray telescope has uncovered a celestial Rosetta stone: the first close-up of a white dwarf star, circling a companion star, that could explode into a particular kind of supernova in a few million years. These supernovae are used as beacons to measure cosmic distances and ultimately understand the expansion of our Universe. Astronomers have been on the trail of this mysterious object since 1997, when they discovered that something was giving off X-rays near the...

2009-06-16 08:45:00

An enormous eruption has found its way to Earth after traveling for many thousands of years across space. Studying this blast with ESA's XMM-Newton and Integral space observatories, astronomers have discovered a dead star belonging to a rare group: the magnetars. X-Rays from the giant outburst arrived on Earth on 22 August 2008, and triggered an automatic sensor on the NASA-led, international Swift satellite. Just twelve hours later, XMM-Newton zeroed in and began to collect the radiation,...

Word of the Day
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.