EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 375, Number 1, August III 2001
Page(s) L5 - L8
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010916

A&A 375, L5-L8 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010916

Evidence for micrometeoroid damage in the pn-CCD camera system aboard XMM-Newton

L. Strüder1, B. Aschenbach1, H. Bräuninger1, G. Drolshagen2, J. Englhauser1, R. Hartmann3, G. Hartner1, P. Holl3, J. Kemmer3, N. Meidinger1, M. Stübig4 and J. Trümper1

1  Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstraße, 85748 Garching, Germany
2  ESA/ESTEC, Postbus 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands
3  KETEK GmbH, Am Isarbach 30, 85764 Oberschleißheim, Germany
4  Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Saupfercheckweg 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

(Received 30 March 2001 / Accepted 26 June 2001)

The mirror systems of the X-ray observatory XMM-Newton were designed to image X-rays up to 15 keV by grazing incidence reflection onto a focal plane, equipped with Charge Coupled Devices (CCDs). In orbit #156 we have observed a sudden increase of about 35 "bright" pixels spread over 15 cm2 in the pn-CCD camera system. The amount of locally generated leakage current cannot be explained by ionizing particles. We suggest that a micrometeoroid scattered under a small angle off the X-ray telescope mirror surface finally reached the focal plane detector and produced the damage.

Key words: XMM-Newton -- back illuminated pn-CCDs -- radiation hardness -- micrometeoroids -- interstellar dust

Offprint request: L. Strüder, lts@hll.mpg.de

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