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XMM-Newton Guest Observer Facility

Eta Car False color image of the Eta Carina Nebula. Red: 0.4-0.75 keV, green: 0.75-1.3 keV, blue: 2.0-7.2 keV. Processed with ESAS and available in the Science Gallery.

The XMM-Newton Guest Observer Facility

XMM-Newton, the X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission, is the second cornerstone of the Horizon 2000 program of the European Space Agency (ESA). XMM-Newton was launched on December 10 1999 at 14:32 GMT (09:32 EST). The observatory consists of three coaligned high throughput 7.5m focal length telescopes with 6 arc second FWHM (15 arc second HPD) angular resolution. With its large collecting area and X-ray and optical/UV bands, XMM greatly facilitates studies of objects ranging from clusters of galaxies to compact objects, and their inherent physical attibutes.

Besides having funded elements of the XMM-Newton instrument package, NASA also provides the NASA Guest Observer Facility (GOF) at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and funds a Guest Observer (GO) program to support the usage of XMM by the U.S. scientific community. The GOF provides a clearing house for project-generated technical information and analysis software as well as budget support for U.S. astronomers who apply for XMM-Newton observation time.

  • The US GOF plays a vital role in the compilation of the XMM Science Analysis System (SAS) and supports US GOs in their installation and use of SAS.
  • The GOF has developed accurate and precise algorithms for modeling the EPIC particle background in the Extended Source Analysis Software (ESAS) SAS tools.
  • The GOF continues to streamline data reduction.

XMM-Newton images over a 30 arc minute field of view with moderate spectral resolution. The European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) observes in the 0.2-12 keV band and consists of two MOS and one PN CCD arrays. High-resolution spectral information (E/dE~300 from 0.4-2.5 keV) is provided by the Reflection Grating Spectrometer (RGS) that deflects half of the beam on two of the X-ray telescopes. The observatory also has a coaligned 30 cm optical/UV telescope, the Optical Monitor (OM). More detailed information on the instruments can be found under Focal Plane Instrumentation in these pages and in the XMM-Newton Users' Handbook (GSFC or ESAC links).

These pages are intended for members of the scientific community. For members of the general public, or those interested in general astronomy/astrophysics information please go to our Education and Public Outreach site.

Latest News - Rev. 3731
  • XMM-Newton AO-21 Solicitation Released (17 Aug 2021)
    XMM-Newton observing proposals are solicited in response to the Twenty-first Announcement of Opportunity.
  • XMM-Newton AO-20 Results Released (4 Dec 2020)
    The list of XMM-Newton observing proposals accepted by the AO-20 Observing Time Allocation Committee is now available.
  • XMM-Newton AO-20 Solicitation Released (18 Aug 2020)
    XMM-Newton observing proposals are solicited in response to the Twentieth Announcement of Opportunity.
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    This file was last modified on Thursday, 02-Dec-2021 00:44:48 EST
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