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Latest XMM-Newton Stories

2009-05-27 15:51:07

The European Space Agency says data from its XMM-Newton space observatory has allowed astronomers to closely study a supermassive black hole. The black hole is located at the core of a distant active galaxy known as 1H0707-495. It was observed during four 48-hour-long orbits of XMM-Newton around Earth, starting in January 2008. We can now start to map out the region immediately around the black hole, said Andrew Fabian of the University of Cambridge, who led the observations and analysis....

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2009-05-27 13:00:00

Using new data from ESA's XMM-Newton spaceborne observatory, astronomers have probed closer than ever to a supermassive black hole lying deep at the core of a distant active galaxy. The galaxy "“ known as 1H0707-495 "“ was observed during four 48-hr-long orbits of XMM-Newton around Earth, starting in January 2008. The black hole at its center was thought to be partially obscured from view by intervening clouds of gas and dust, but these current observations have revealed the...

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2009-04-08 07:31:42

ESA's space-borne X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, has carried out an exclusive observation of the galaxy Messier 82, for the "˜100 Hours of Astronomy' cornerstone project for the International Year of Astronomy 2009. The observatory was featured in the "˜Around the World in 80 Telescopes' live webcast last week. This European space telescope has been studying the sky in X-ray, optical and ultraviolet wavelengths simultaneously, since its launch in December 1999. The image...

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2009-03-30 13:20:00

On 3 April, ESA astronomers will take part in "˜Around the world in 80 telescopes', a unique live webcast which will be part of the "˜100 Hours of Astronomy' cornerstone project for the International Year of Astronomy 2009. Viewers will have a peek into ESA's XMM-Newton and Integral satellite control rooms in Spain. The General Assembly of the United Nations has declared 2009 as the 'International Year of Astronomy' (IYA 2009). This global program was initiated by the...

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2009-01-13 08:05:00

XMM-Newton has caught the fading glow of a tiny celestial object, revealing its rotation rate for the first time. The new information confirms this particular object as one of an extremely rare class of stellar zombie "“ each one the dead heart of a star that refuses to die. There are just five so-called Soft Gamma-ray Repeaters (SGRs) known, four in the Milky Way and one in our satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. Each is between 10 and 30 km across, yet contains about twice...

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2008-11-14 08:40:17

X-ray and gamma-ray data from ESA's XMM-Newton and Integral orbiting observatories has been used to test, for the first time, the physical processes that make magnetars, an atypical class of neutron stars, shine in X-rays. Neutron stars are remnants of massive stars (10-50 times as massive as our Sun) that have collapsed on to themselves under their own weight. Made almost entirely of neutrons (subatomic particles with no electric charge), these stellar corpses concentrate more than the mass...

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2008-10-08 06:45:00

Different wavelengths of light swirl together like watercolors in a new, ethereal portrait of a bright, active star-forming region. The multi-wavelength picture combines X-ray, infrared and visible light captured by ESA's XMM-Newton space-borne X-ray observatory, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory's New Technology Telescope. The colorful image offers a fresh look into the history of the star-studded region, called NGC 346, revealing new information on...

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2008-09-17 14:20:00

XMM-Newton has uncovered a well-tuned periodic signal from a super-massive black hole lodged at the centre of a galaxy, ending a long quest for such an object. The discovery provides scientists with a clearer picture on black hole accretion processes and an excellent tool to study active galactic nuclei (AGNs). These periodic signals originating from the black hole are emitted in X-rays, which are blocked out by the Earth's atmosphere. So the team used data from ESA's orbiting X-ray...

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2008-08-26 01:25:00

ESA's orbiting X-ray observatory XMM-Newton has discovered the most massive cluster of galaxies seen in the distant Universe until now. The galaxy cluster is so big that there can only be a handful of them at that distance, making this a rare catch indeed. The discovery confirms the existence of dark energy. The newly-discovered monster, known only by the catalogue number 2XMM J083026+524133, is estimated to contain as much mass as a thousand large galaxies. Much of it is in the form of...

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2008-07-18 09:05:00

XMM-Newton has discovered an exploding star in the Milky Way. Usually that would be important in itself, but this time there is a special twist. Calculations show that the explosion must have been clearly visible to the unaided eye but was missed by the legions of star watchers around the planet. On October 9, 2007, ESA's orbiting X-ray observatory XMM-Newton was turning from one target to another. As it did so, it passed across a bright source of X-rays that no one was expecting. The source...


Word of the Day
tessitura
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.