Information for Schools
XMM NEWTON SCHOOLS COMPETITION
In February this year, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced its
third competition, aimed at 16 to 18 year olds in their final two
years of school. Entrants had to think of a fascinating project for the XMM
Newton observatory and the winners will be able to visit the XMM
Newton Science Operations Centre at Vilspa, ESA's tracking station
near Madrid, and see their observations made for real! Full details of the
competition may be found on ESA's web site. Winners will be announced in mid-June.
The closing date for entries has now passed, but if you want to learn more about XMM and X-ray astronomy we have included some useful links below:
The AstroGroup Beginner's Guides are a good
starting point for some general astronomy topics as well some
specifically written for common X-ray sources like quasars (or active
galactic nuclei) and binary stars.
Another very good place to start is the
web version of PPARC's XMM
Newton brochure (PPARC is the Particle Physics and Astronomical
Research Council). It describes all of the main X-ray emitting
sources, where X-rays come from and the XMM Newton observatory itself.
Then there is the UK XMM Newton Information Centre. This site has information for anyone and everyone interested in XMM Newton: schoolchildren, students and adults as well as professional astronomers. It contains all the information you will ever need, but some of it is in far too much detail (and astronomer gobbledygook). But don't let that put you off! There is lots of very useful information! Look for the links marked with the stars... from the menu bar on the left, go to XMM Brochure (the same as we have here), Latest News, XMM for Schools (this page to be opened shortly!), XMM Science, Overview (although this does get a bit technical) and Schematic. These will be most suitable for straightforward information about XMM Newton. There will also be a noticeboard at this main site soon.
Leicester University's Education and Outreach pages have a guide to space and astronomy.
The Cambridge X-ray Astronomy Group have interactive web demos of X-ray astronomy, galaxy clusters and active galactic nuclei (quasars).
Birmingham University's Astrophysics and Space Research Group have a special XMM Newton web site for schools.
Finally, if you want to cross the Atlantic, there is
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Education and Public Outreach
with loads of information for students and teachers.
MSSL BEGINNER'S GUIDES
PRESENTATIONS GIVEN TO GROUPS, SCHOOLS AND SOCIETIES
MISSIONS, PRESENT AND FUTURE