Latest XMM-Newton Stories

2006-05-03 07:25:00

For the past four years, while ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has been slewing between different targets ready for the next observation, it has kept its cameras open and used this spare time to quietly look at the heavens. The result is a 'free-of-charge' mission spin-off "“ a survey that has now covered an impressive 25 percent of the sky. The rapid slewing of the satellite across the sky means that a star or a galaxy passes in the field of view of the telescope for ten seconds...

2006-04-19 09:00:00

Using data from ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, an international group of astrophysicists discovered that one spinning neutron star doesn't appear to be the stable rotator scientists would expect. These X-ray observations promise to give new insights into the thermal evolution and finally the interior structure of neutron stars. Spinning neutron stars, also known as pulsars, are generally known to be highly stable rotators. Thanks to their periodic signals, emitted either in the radio or...

2006-04-04 18:55:01

The European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has already been a spectacular success in many areas of astronomy - detecting distant clusters of galaxies, the faint afterglow of enigmatic gamma ray bursts and the effects of the collision of the Deep Impact probe with comet Tempel-1. Now an innovative new approach analyses X-rays detected during the times that the satellite manoeuvres between targets - originally considered to be unusable periods - to reveal some 4,000 intensely...

2006-03-23 07:17:57

ESA -- ESA's XMM-Newton has seen vast clouds of superheated gas, whirling around miniature stars and escaping from being devoured by the stars' enormous gravitational fields - giving a new insight into the eating habits of the galaxy's 'cannibal' stars. The clouds of gas range in size from a few hundred thousand kilometres to a few million kilometres, ten to one hundred times larger than the Earth. They are composed of iron vapour and other chemicals at temperatures of many millions of...

2006-02-28 08:55:00

ESA -- Astronomers have witnessed a never-seen-before event in observations by ESA's XMM-Newton spacecraft -- a collision between a pulsar and a ring of gas around a neighbouring star. The rare passage, which took the pulsar plunging into and through this ring, illuminated the sky in gamma- and X-rays. It has revealed a remarkable new insight into the origin and content of 'pulsar winds', which has been a long-standing mystery. The scientists described the event as a natural but...

2006-02-08 07:36:03

ESA -- In December 2005, ESA's highly successful XMM-Newton mission was formally given a four-year extension. The longer life necessitated a first-ever in-flight upgrade to the spacecraft's mission control software. Last year, ESA's Science Programme Committee extended operation of ESA's hugely valuable X-ray observation mission, XMM-Newton, for four years, until 31 March 2010. The decision was easy given the incredible science results that XMM has provided since launch in 1999, with over...

2006-01-24 23:45:00

ESA -- XMM-Newton, ESA's X-ray observatory, continues its quest for the unknown. This month, after five years of operations, the mission saw the publication of its 1000th scientific paper, corresponding to an equivalent number of results, in top-class scientific journals. This is not the only record-breaking figure for this X-ray 'hunter' mission. There are several ways to measure the scientific success of a mission. One is certainly to look at the use the scientific community makes of...

2006-01-11 07:45:00

Northwestern -- In the most comprehensive study of Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the enigmatic supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, astronomers -- using nine ground and space-based telescopes including the Hubble Space Telescope and the XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory -- have discovered that Sgr A* produces rapid flares close to the innermost region of the black hole in many different wavelengths and that these emissions go up and down together. This insight into the...

2005-12-05 11:00:00

ESA -- ESA's Science Programme Committee has extended operations of the highly successful astronomical observatories Integral and XMM-Newton for four years, until 16 December 2010 and 31 March 2010 respectively. As usual, there will be a review of the scientific performance and of the missions status in another two years' time, around autumn 2007. The Integral gamma-ray observatory was launched on 17 October 2002, and has been providing ever since an increasingly detailed insight into some...

2005-08-31 12:35:00

ESA -- ESA's X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, has for the first time allowed scientists to study in detail the formation history of galaxy clusters, not only with single arbitrarily selected objects, but with a complete representative sample of clusters. Knowing how these massive objects formed is a key to understanding the past and future of the Universe. Scientists currently base their well-founded picture of cosmic evolution on a model of structure formation where small structures form...

Word of the Day
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.