XMM-Newton

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The XMM-Newton is a X-ray observatory satellite. It is named in honour of Isaac Newton; XMM stands for X-ray Multi-Mirror.

Officially known as the High Throughput X-ray Spectroscopy Mission, it was launched by the European Space Agency from Kourou on December 10, 1999 by an Ariane 5 rocket. It was placed in a very eccentric 48 hour elliptical orbit at 40°; at its apogee it is nearly 114,000 km from Earth, while the perigee is only 7,000 km.

The satellite weighs 3800 kg, is 10 m long and 16 m in span with its solar arrays deployed. It holds three X-ray telescopes, developed by Media Lario of Italy, each of which contains 58 wolter-type concentric mirrors. The telescopes cover a range of 12 keV to 0.1 keV and have a combined collecting surface of 4,300 cm². Other instruments onboard are three photon imaging cameras, two reflection grating spectrometers and a 30 cm Richtey-Chretien optical monitor.

The mission was proposed in 1984 and approved in 1985; a project team was formed in 1993 and development work began in 1996. The satellite was constructed and tested from March 1997 to September 1999. It has a mission lifetime of two years, with a possible extension of up to eight years for further observations. These observations are managed from VILSPA at Villafranca, Spain and the information is processed and archived at the XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre at Leicester University, England.

External link

fr:XMM-Newton hu:XMM-Newton

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