XMM-Newton X-Ray Observatory
The XMM-Newton (X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission - Newton) is an orbiting X-ray observatory launched by ESA in December 1999 on an Ariane 5 rocket. It is named in honor of Sir Isaac Newton.
Originally known as the High Throughput X-ray Spectroscopy Mission it was placed in a very eccentric 48 hour elliptical orbit at 40°; at its apogee it is nearly 114,000 kilometers (71,000 mi) from Earth, while the perigee is only 7,000 kilometers (4,300 mi).
The European Space Agency's (ESA) X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton) is ESA's second cornerstone of the Horizon 2000 Science Program. It carries 3 high throughput X-ray telescopes with an unprecedented effective area, and an optical monitor, the first flown on a X-ray observatory. The large collecting area and ability to make long uninterrupted exposures provide highly sensitive observations.
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