XMM - Vela XMM-NEWTON Version française


     The XMM-Newton (X-ray Multi Mirror) satellite is one of the four cornerstone missions of the Horizon 2000 scientific programme of the European Space Agency (ESA), i.e. one of the most important european astronomical satellites.

ESA XMM-Newton Homepage

XMM Satellite

The XMM-Newton satellite (artist view)

     With its three X-ray telescopes containing each a combination of 58 mirrors of Wolter I type (i.e. a combination of parabolic and hyperbolic surfaces) working in grazing incidence, XMM has an unprecedented effective area in the X-ray domain. An EPIC camera collects the spatial and spectral information of the X-ray image at the focus of each of the three telescopes.

     Two of the X-ray telescopes are further equipped with a reflection grating spectrometer (RGS) that allows high-resolution spectroscopy of X-ray bright targets.

     Finally, thanks to its Optical Monitor (OM), XMM-Newton also allows to obtain simultaneous observations in the optical or ultraviolet wavelength range.

     XMM was launched from Kourou on December 10, 1999 by an Ariane 5 rocket. Scientific observations started in 2000 and since then the satellite already discovered thousands of new X-ray sources. The life time of the spacecraft is currently estimated to be at least 10 years.


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