XMM-Newton, ESA’s space-borne X-ray observatory is the biggest scientific satellite ever built in Europe. Its telescope mirrors are the most sensitive ever developed in the world, and with its sensitive detectors, it sees much more than any previous X-ray satellite.
XMM-Newton was designed and built to return data for at least a decade. It has detected more X-ray sources than any previous satellite and is helping solve many cosmic mysteries of the violent universe, from what happens in and around black holes to the formation of galaxies in the early universe. The satellite uses over 170 wafer-thin cylindrical mirrors spread over three telescopes. Its orbit takes it almost a third of the way to the Moon, so that astronomers can enjoy long, uninterrupted views of celestial objects.
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Credits: C. Sufitchi http://www.n2yo.com
Last update: 23 October 2007