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XMM is a an x-ray telescope containing three mirror modules each consisting of 58 nested Woljer type-1 mirrors and covering the energy range from 0.1 to 10 keV. The effective area of the three modules combined is about 6500 sq cm between 0.1 and 1 keV and about 2000 sq cm at 10 keV. The spatial resolution is about 30 arc-seconds and the sensitivity is about 10E-15 erg/cm**2/s for one orbit. The instruments consist of the European (x-ray) Photon Imaging Cameras (EPIC), the Reflection Grating Spectrometers (RGS), and the Optical Monitor. The latter instrument is to provide simutaneous observations of the optical counterparts of x-ray sources.

The spectral resolution ranges from about 50 for the cameras at 0.5 keV to about 600 for the spectrometers at 0.3 keV. Among the goals for the 10 yr lifetime of XMM are: understanding the diffuse x-ray background, mapping the x-ray emitting gas in clusters of galaxies, unbiased surveys of galaxies and of stars, diagnostic studies of accreting binary stars, temporal spectroscopic studies of AGN's and spectral studies of supernove remnants in nearby galaxies.

Alternate Names

  • 25989
  • Newton
  • X-ray Multimirror Mission

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1999-12-10
Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana
Mass: 2400 kg
Nominal Power: 1000 W

Funding Agency

  • European Space Agency (International)


  • Astronomy

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office


US Active Archive for XMM-Newton Information/Data

The XMM-Newton Data Archive at HEASARC

Other Sources of XMM-Newton Information/Data

XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at ESA
UK XMM-Newton Information Centre at Leicester
XMM Home Page at MPE

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