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  • ESA's XMM Telescope Sends Self-Portrait
Dec 1999
HOUSTON, Dec. 15 --The European Space Agency's X-Ray Multi Mirror (XMM) spacecraft has transmitted images of itself in space. Launched Dec. 10 from Korou, French Guyana aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle, XMM consists of three coaligned high-throughput 7.5-m focal length telescopes with angular resolution of six arc seconds FWHM (15 arc seconds HPD). NASA is providing critical components for two of the XMM spacecraft's three science instruments and participating in the mission's science-observing program.
XMM will use the European Photon Imaging Camera, which consists of two metal-oxide semiconductor and one PN charge-coupled device arrays, to provide scientists with images from a field of view of 30 arc minutes with moderate spectral resolution. High-resolution spectral information (E/dE~300) will be provided by the reflection grating spectrometer that will deflect half of the beam on two of the x-ray telescopes. The spacecraft's observatory also includes a coaligned 30-cm optical/UV telescope called the Optical Monitor.

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