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S. M. Kahn (Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory)
The X-Ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM) is an observatory class facility under development by the European Space Agency for launch in January 2000. XMM will provide unprecedented capabilities for both high and moderate resolution X-ray spectroscopy of cosmic X-ray sources. The observatory incorporates three co-aligned, densely-nested, high throughput, grazing incidence X-ray telescopes. There are three scientific instruments on board: (1) the European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC), a set of two different types of CCD cameras located in the telescope focal planes; (2) the Reflection Grating Spectrometer (RGS), comprised of reflection grating arrays and associated CCD readout cameras oriented behind two of the three telescopes; and (3) the Optical Monitor (OM), an optical/UV telescope coaligned with the X-ray instruments. I will review the general characteristics of these instruments, and compare the capabilities of the observatory to those of Chandra and ASTRO-E, which will be launched in a similar timeframe.
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