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XMM-Newton Observatory (X-ray Multi-Mirror)





XMM-Newton Observtaory
A European Space Agency orbiting X-ray observatory launched in December 1999. XMM-Newton is the most sensitive imaging X-ray observatory in the 250 eV–12 keV range ever flown, exceeding the mirror area and energy range of ROSAT, ASCA, and even the Chandra X-ray Observatory. It has three advanced X-ray telescopes, each containing 58 high-precision concentric mirrors nested to offer the largest possible collecting area. In addition, it carries five X-ray imaging cameras and spectrographs, and an optical monitoring telescope. The observatory moves in a highly elliptical orbit, traveling out to nearly one third of the distance to the Moon and enabling long, uninterrupted observations of faint X-ray sources.


launch date Dec. 10, 1999
launch vehicle Ariane 5
launch site Kourou
size 10 × 16 m
mass at launch 3.8 tons
orbit 7,000 × 114,000 km × 48°


Related entry

   • X-ray satellites


Related category

   • SATELLITES AND SPACE PROBES