Compact astrophysical objects

Compact objects are compact stellar remnants, such as white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes and specific types of these objects (e.g., pulsars and boson stars), as well as their larger counterparts, supermassive black holes. The study of compact objects deals with their properties and the extreme conditions in their vicinity.


Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Emission from the 1.3-millimetre hydrogen recombination line reveals a rotating disk of cool gas 0.004 parsecs in radius around the supermassive black hole at the centre of our Galaxy.

    • Elena M. Murchikova
    • , E. Sterl Phinney
    • , Anna Pancoast
    •  & Roger D. Blandford
    Nature 570, 83-86
  • Research |

    A rare type of supernova—triggered by the collapse of a rapidly rotating single star—could have provided more than 80 per cent of the r-process elements in the Universe.

    • Daniel M. Siegel
    • , Jennifer Barnes
    •  & Brian D. Metzger
    Nature 569, 241-244
  • Reviews |

    This article reviews radio emission mechanisms in radio-quiet active galactic nuclei (AGNs), from star formation and AGN winds, to free-free emission from photoionized gas and AGN disk coronal activity. These mechanisms can be probed by sensitive radio observatories.

    • Francesca Panessa
    • , Ranieri Diego Baldi
    • , Ari Laor
    • , Paolo Padovani
    • , Ehud Behar
    •  & Ian McHardy
    Nature Astronomy 3, 387-396
  • Research |

    The relativistic jets associated with the black-hole X-ray binary system V404 Cygni change their orientation on time scales of minutes to hours, implying that the direction of the jets is being affected by the dynamics of the surrounding accretion flow that powers them.

    • James C. A. Miller-Jones
    • , Alexandra J. Tetarenko
    • , Gregory R. Sivakoff
    • , Matthew J. Middleton
    • , Diego Altamirano
    • , Gemma E. Anderson
    • , Tomaso M. Belloni
    • , Rob P. Fender
    • , Peter G. Jonker
    • , Elmar G. Körding
    • , Hans A. Krimm
    • , Dipankar Maitra
    • , Sera Markoff
    • , Simone Migliari
    • , Kunal P. Mooley
    • , Michael P. Rupen
    • , David M. Russell
    • , Thomas D. Russell
    • , Craig L. Sarazin
    • , Roberto Soria
    •  & Valeriu Tudose
    Nature 569, 374-377
  • Reviews |

    The history and advancements of gravitational-wave astronomy are reviewed and the future of the field is discussed.

    • M. Coleman Miller
    •  & Nicolás Yunes
    Nature 568, 469-476

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Although dark matter cannot be seen, it can be studied by the gravitational effect of dark objects on the light from background stars. New observations of the nearby Andromeda galaxy probe the possibility that the dark matter could be small black holes.

    • Bernard J. Carr
    Nature Astronomy 3, 485-486
  • Editorial |

    The stunning picture of a black hole shadow that was released by the Event Horizon Telescope highlights the power of collaborative projects, as no single person, telescope or nation could have captured such an image.

  • Research Highlights |

    The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration has released images and data showing the dark shadow of the supermassive black hole at the centre of galaxy Messier 87. This release is the result of years of development in instrumentation and data processing.

    • Zoe Budrikis