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Latest XMM-Newton Stories

2007-12-21 07:32:59

XMM-Newton has detected periodic X-ray emission, or the pulsed heartbeat of a weird new type of star. Collecting the X-rays from the so-called rotating radio transient has confirmed the nature of the underlying celestial object and given astronomers a new insight into these exotic objects. The observations were made using XMM-Newton's European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC), which targeted the celestial object RRAT J1819"“1458. Astronomers observed the object for around 12 hours and...

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2007-12-19 18:56:40

Using observations from ESO's VLT, astronomers were able for the first time to reconstruct the site of a flare on a solar-like star located 150 light years away. The study of this young star, nicknamed 'Speedy Mic' because of its fast rotation, will help scientists better understand the youth of our Sun. The astronomers [1] observed the star BO Microscopii [2] during two consecutive nights in October 2006, simultaneously with the UVES spectrograph on ESO's Very Large Telescope and ESA's...

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2007-12-14 07:47:44

Astronomers working with XMM-Newton have discovered a new cluster of galaxies, hidden behind a previously identified cluster of galaxies. The recently exposed cosmic giant is apparently just as bright as the first group, but is six times further away. The discovery was made by an international team using ESA's orbiting X-ray observatory. Being fooled by a cosmic giant is no laughing matter for an astronomer. For years, astronomers racked their brains over the relation between two regions...

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2007-09-07 17:08:51

The largest catalogue of X-ray sources ever has now been released. The catalogue, '2XMM', has been compiled from observations carried out with ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory over six years of operation. The 2XMM Serendipitous Source Catalogue is the result of several years of development by the XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre (SSC), a consortium of institutes spread across Europe, on behalf of ESA. In the study of energetic phenomena in the Universe, ranging from nearby comets to the...

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2007-08-27 11:45:31

Astronomers using XMM-Newton and Suzaku have seen Einstein's predicted distortion of space-time and pioneered a ground-breaking technique for determining the properties of neutron stars. ESA's XMM-Newton and the JAXA/NASA Suzaku X-ray observatories have been used to see the distortion of space-time around three neutron stars. These objects contain the densest observable matter in the Universe. Neutron stars cram more than a Sun's worth of material into a city-sized sphere. This means that a...

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2007-07-18 13:40:00

The orbiting X-ray telescopes XXM-Newton and Chandra have caught a pair of galaxy clusters merging into a giant cluster. The discovery adds to existing evidence that galaxy clusters can collide faster than previously thought. When individual galaxies collide and spiral into one another, they discard trails of hot gas that stretch across space, providing signposts to the mayhem. Recognising the signs of collisions between whole clusters of galaxies, however, is not as easy. Undaunted, Renato...

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2007-05-31 14:15:00

XMM-Newton has surveyed nearly two hundred stars under formation to reveal, contrary to expectations, how streams of matter fall onto the young stars' magnetic atmospheres and radiate X-rays. The results defy astronomers' expectations, as the streams of falling matter interact with the hot corona, cooling it, while the ejected streams of gas heat up in shocks as they are ejected from the star. The new XMM-Newton results paint a dramatic picture of the role magnetic fields play in star...

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2007-05-09 09:06:08

ESA's X-ray observatory XMM-Newton has revealed a new class of exploding stars "“ where the X-ray emission "Ëœlives fast and dies young'. The identification of this particular class of explosions gives astronomers a valuable new constraint to help them model and understand stellar explosions. Exploding stars called novae remain a puzzle to astronomers. "Modelling these outbursts is very difficult," says Wolfgang Pietsch of the Max Planck Institut fr Extraterrestrische Physik....

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2007-04-10 12:45:51

Using a trio of space observatories, astronomers may have cracked a 45-year old mystery surrounding two ghostly spiral arms in the galaxy M106 (NGC 4258). The results, obtained by a team from the University of Maryland (USA), took advantage of the unique capabilities of the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. M106 (also known as NGC 4258) is a spiral galaxy 23.5 million light-years away, in the...

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2007-03-09 10:46:34

A decade-long mystery has been solved using data from ESA's X-ray observatory XMM-Newton. The brightest member of the so-called 'magnificent seven' has been found to pulsate with a period of seven seconds. The discovery casts some doubt on the recent interpretation that this object is a highly exotic celestial object known as a quark star. The magnificent seven is a collection of young neutron stars. Neutron stars are the dead hearts of once massive stars. They contain about 1.4 times the...