XMM-Newton 1:4 Scale Model

Whole Object Name

XMM-Newton 1:4 Scale Model

Collection

Satellites and Spacecraft

Description

XMM-Newton is an X-ray space observatory launched by ESA in 1999. This model is quarter scale, the real telescope is over ten metres long with solar panels spanning 16 metres. XMM stands for X-ray Multi Mirror which refers to XMM’s three advanced X-ray telescopes, each containing 58 mirrors. The mirrors are extremely thin, about a quarter of the width of a human hair. Their cylindrical shape allows them to fit concentrically inside each other. This creates a total surface area of nearly the size of a tennis court, to capture incoming X-rays.

Studying the X-rays allows astronomers to look back in time at hot objects created when the universe was young. This must be done from space, as X-rays are blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere. XMM Newton is trying to find out many different things; from what happens around and inside black holes, to how galaxies were formed in the early universe.

One of XMM-Newton’s important breakthroughs was measuring for the first time the influence of the gravitational field of a neutron star on the light it emits. This helped astronomers to better understand the composition of these dense remains of exploded stars.

Object number

2001-4
  • image XMM-Newton 1:4 Scale Model
  • image XMM preparation - Credit: ESA/D.Parker
  • image Artist's impression of XMM-Newton - Credit: ESA/D. Ducros
  • image XMM-Newton 1:4 Scale Model
  • image XMM preparation - Credit: ESA/D.Parker
  • image Artist's impression of XMM-Newton - Credit: ESA/D. Ducros

More information

Comments

    We'd love to hear your thoughts and memories. If you know something we don't, why not let us know!
    AboutHelp the Museum Cookies

    Terms and Conditions

    Donations

    Cookies Policy

         
    Powered by MuseumIndex+ CollectionsOnline