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10 May 2004
XMM (X-ray Multi Mirror mission)
Size hi-res: 1706 Kb
Credits: ESA - D. Ducros

Artist's impression of XMM-Newton
ESA's XMM-Newton is the most sensitive X-ray telescope ever built. Its high-technology design 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.

This unique X-ray observatory was launched by Ariane 5 from the European spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana on 10 December 1999. It derives its name from its X-ray multi-mirror design and honours Sir Isaac Newton.

XMM (X-ray Multi Mirror mission)
Size hi-res: 197 kb
Credits: ESA

Testing of the XMM-Newton lower module mass properties at ESA/ESTEC
ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory is unique. It is the biggest science satellite ever built in Europe. Its telescope mirrors are the most powerful ever developed in the world, and with its sensitive detectors, it will see much more than any previous X-ray satellite.

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