skip to content
 
XMM-Newton Guest Observer Facility

XMM-Newton vs. Other X-ray Missions


The X-ray Multi-Mirror observatory is a significant step forward for the study of many astrophysical objects. The observatory combines exceptionally large effective areas with an imaging telescope, simultaneous observations of sources in the X-ray and UV/optical bands, simultaneous operation of the high-angular-resolution CCD (EPIC) detectors, a high-spectral-resolution reflection grating spectrometer (RGS) in the X-ray band, and a long-period orbit. The orbit allows long, continuous observations of a single source, and the mission provides unique opportunities to study the universe.

The following table compares various parameters of current and future X-ray observatories. The currently operational missions (XMM-Newton, Chandra, Swift, NuSTAR, and ASTROSAT) are complimentary in their attributes with various combinations of effective areas, angular and spectral resolutions, and energy ranges.

Current Past Future
Observatory XMM Chandra Swift NuSTAR ASTROSAT ROSAT ASCA BeppoSAX
RXTE Suzaku Astro-H
Detector EPIC
MOS
EPIC
PN
RGS ACIS
back
ACIS
front
HRC
HETG LETG XRT SXT PSPC HRI SIS
GIS LECS MECS PCA XIS SXS
Dates of
Operation
10-Dec-1999
23-Jul-1999
20-Nov
2004
13-Jun
2012
28-Sep
2015
1-Jun-1990
-12-Feb-1999
20-Feb-1993
-14-Jul-2000
30-Apr-1996
-30-Apr-2002
30-Dec-1995
-5-Jan-2012
10-Jul-2005
-1-Jun-2015

Energy
Range (keV)
0.2-12 0.2-12 0.4-2.5 0.1-10 0.4-10 0.1-10 0.6-10 0.1-6 0.2-10 3.0-79
0.3-8 0.1-2.4 0.1-2.4 0.4-12 0.6-12 0.1-10 1.3-10 2.0-60 0.2-12 0.3-10
Effective
Area (cm2)
@0.25 keV
144 647 - 30 - 150 - 25 16 - - 240 40 - - 22 - -
@0.4 keV
231 707 44 120 35 50 - 12 27 - 7 11 15 - 1 - -
@0.6 keV
286 916 94 345 70 65 - 25 36 - ~40 70 8 35 - 7.6 - -
@1.0 keV
730 1222 185 615 385 215 10 55 80 - 210 80 230 50 40 1.25 - 1600 180
@1.5 keV
1070 1323 160 500 525 162 45 105 104 - ~128 180 60 300 145 57 24 -
@2.5 keV
648 847 -
320 320 65 20 50 81 - - - 195 125 40 90 700 ~200
@6.0 keV
476 832 - 205 235 45 25 20 68 775 ~22 - - 160 125 50 154 5000 1000 ~220
@8.0 keV
168 514 - 45 60 10 7 4 25 953 -
- 55 60 35 101 6000
@12.0 keV
6.3 36.0 - - - - - - - 895 - - - - - - - 4000
Energy
Resolution
(eV)
@0.25 keV
35 35 - 130 37 - - 0.4 70 - - 250 - - - 90 98 -
@0.4 keV
45 45 0.5 120 42 - - 0.8 85 - 350 - 75 - 123 - 30
@1.0 keV
55 55 2.9 100 56 - 1 5.4 110 - ~80 500 - 100 190 196 - 50
@2.5 keV
85 85 17 120 82 - 5.2 34 130 - 104 - - 135 300 309 725 80
@6.0 keV
130 130 - 170 130 - 29 - 140 400 150 - - 240 460 528 480 1125 120 7
@8.0 keV
150 150 - 190 150 - 50 - 170 400 - - 265 540 554 1300 140
Angular
Resolution
(FWHM)

~6"

~6"

-

1"

1"

0.4"


-

-

18"
(HPD)

18"

~2'
(HPD)

15"

5"

1'

1'

2.1"

105"

1 deg

~1.8'
(HPD)

1.7'
(HPD)
Field of View
30' 30' - 17'x17' 17'x17' 31'x31' - - 23'x23' 12'x12' ~40' dia
114' dia
40'x40' 22'x22' 50' dia 37' dia
56' dia
1 deg
18'x18'
2.8'x2.8'

XMM-Newton EPIC areas (areas are those used in PIMMS) are for the thin filters and include the full PSF (out to 5'), the EPIC MOS values are the sum of the two detectors. The RGS values are for both telescopes. ROSAT, ASCA, RXTE, Suzaku and Swift values are taken from various HEASARC WWW pages. The RXTE PCA value is for layer 1. ASTROSAT values are taken from the ASTROSAT handbook. NuSTAR values are from
Harrison, F.A. et al. (2013; ApJ, 770, 103).


If you have any questions concerning XMM-Newton send e-mail to xmmhelp@lists.nasa.gov

This file was last modified on Thursday, 10-Dec-2015 13:20:37 EST
Curator:Michael Arida (ADNET); michael.arida@nasa.gov

NASA Astrophysics

  • FAQ/Comments/Feedback
  • Education Resources
  • Download Adobe Acrobat
  • A service of the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/ GSFC

    XMM-Newton Project Scientist: Dr. Steve Snowden

    Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman

    Privacy Policy and Important Notices.