Press Release

A year after lift-off, XMM-Newton is impressing the X-ray astronomy community

By SpaceRef Editor
November 23, 2000
Filed under ,

A year after launch, ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory is fully living up to its promise with a steady stream of fascinating data. To mark the anniversary and to present the first sample of the mission’s scientific results, the media are invited to a press conference to be held at European Space Agency headquarters in Paris on 6 December.


XMM-Newton was launched from Kourou on 10 December 1999 on the first Ariane-5 commercial flight. After in-orbit commissioning of the spacecraft, and calibration and performance verification of its science instruments, the observatory entered its routine operations phase on 1 July.


At the press conference, ESA’s Director of Science Prof. Roger-Maurice Bonnet and XMM-Newton Project Scientist Fred Jansen will present some of the many scientific results from the first eight months of the mission. Also present will be two of Europe’s foremost X-ray astronomers, Prof. Johan Bleeker of the Space Research Organisation of the Netherlands, and Prof. Guenther Hasinger of the Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, Germany.


Amongst the topics to be illustrated with some remarkably vivid “colour” images of the X-ray Universe, will be XMM-Newton’s first examination of a cataclysmic binary star, its first insights into some enigmatic black hole systems, analysis of the morphology of a few supernovae remnants, and evidence it has collected to end the long-standing mystery over X-ray cosmic background emissionĂ–


The press conference will also recap on the spacecraftĂ­s operations, the performance of its science instruments, the issue of radiation constraints and future aspects of the mission.


Media representatives wishing to attend the press event are kindly invited to complete the attached reply form and fax it back to ESA Media Relations Office +33(0)1.53.69.7690.


Note to editors


XMM-Newton is ESA’s second Cornerstone Mission of the Horizon 2000 programme. The spacecraft was built by a European consortium of companies led by Astrium (formerly Dornier Satellitensysteme), Friedrichshafen, Germany. Its X-ray imaging and spectrographic instruments (EPIC and RGS) and its optical telescope (OM) were provided by large consortia, whose principal investigators are from, respectively, the University of Leicester, UK, SRON University of Utrecht Netherlands, and the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UK.


For further information please contact:


ESA – Communication Department


Media Relations Office


Tel: +33(0)1.53.69.7155


Fax: +33(0)1.53.69.7690


Dr Fred Jansen, XMM Project Scientist


ESA – Estec (Noordwijk, The Netherlands)


Tel: +31 71 565 4426


Email: fjansen@astro.estec.esa.nl


For further information on XMM visit the ESA science web pages at http://sci.esa.int/xmm


For further information on ESA visit: http://www.esa.int



Press conference timetable


ESA Headquarters, 8-10 rue Mario Nikis, Paris 15, France


6 December, 2000 – 10h30


 


10:30 Welcome and introduction Dr Fred Jansen, ESA – XMM Project Scientist


10:40 XMM science resultspart I Prof. Guenther Hasinger, Astrophysikalisches Institut


Postdam, Germany


10:55 XMM science results – part II Prof. Johan Bleeker, Space Research Organisation of the


Netherlands


11:10 Conclusions Prof. Roger-Maurice Bonnet, ESA Director of Science


11:15 Question & answer session


11:30 End of conference



XMM Press Conference


6 December 2000 – 10h30 –


ESA HQ – 8/10, rue Mario Nikis – 75015 Paris


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SpaceRef staff editor.