The ESA Cornerstone Mission XMM has been succesfully launched on
December 10th by an
Ariane-5 from Kourou. Today (February 9th) the first
astronomical pictures were released.
This X-ray colour image made with the EPIC camera on XMM shows part of
a small companion galaxy to the Milky Way, the Large Magellanic Cloud,
where stellar explosions are releasing newly manufactured elements, and
new stars are being formed.
The image is made so as to reveal the temperature of the X-ray emitting
medium, with blue indicating the hottest regions; green the intermediate
temperatures and red the coldest regions. Most of the ‘blue’ X-rays
have not been observed before, and it is the collecting power of XMM that
enables these observations''
Further information can be obtained from the XMM homepages at the
Also, ESA have set up a Web page with the
latest XMM status