High-energy astrophysics

High-energy astrophysics is the study of the processes that occur within stars, black holes and supernovae. These processes can be monitored by measuring the high-energy electromagnetic radiation and particles that they emit including x-rays, ultraviolet light and gamma rays. These observations are supplemented with computer simulations.

Featured

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Using SN 1987A as a cosmic laboratory, Miceli et al. have measured the shock acceleration of ions heavier than oxygen, finding that the post-shock temperature of a wide range of ions is mass dependent.

    • Marco Miceli
    • , Salvatore Orlando
    • , David N. Burrows
    • , Kari A. Frank
    • , Costanza Argiroffi
    • , Fabio Reale
    • , Giovanni Peres
    • , Oleh Petruk
    •  & Fabrizio Bocchino
  • Research |

    Multi-epoch observations of a supernova associated with a γ-ray burst reveal spectral features at extremely high expansion velocities within the first day after the burst, indicative of a choked jet.

    • L. Izzo
    • , A. de Ugarte Postigo
    • , K. Maeda
    • , C. C. Thöne
    • , D. A. Kann
    • , M. Della Valle
    • , A. Sagues Carracedo
    • , M. J. Michałowski
    • , P. Schady
    • , S. Schmidl
    • , J. Selsing
    • , R. L. C. Starling
    • , A. Suzuki
    • , K. Bensch
    • , J. Bolmer
    • , S. Campana
    • , Z. Cano
    • , S. Covino
    • , J. P. U. Fynbo
    • , D. H. Hartmann
    • , K. E. Heintz
    • , J. Hjorth
    • , J. Japelj
    • , K. Kamiński
    • , L. Kaper
    • , C. Kouveliotou
    • , M. Krużyński
    • , T. Kwiatkowski
    • , G. Leloudas
    • , A. J. Levan
    • , D. B. Malesani
    • , T. Michałowski
    • , S. Piranomonte
    • , G. Pugliese
    • , A. Rossi
    • , R. Sánchez-Ramírez
    • , S. Schulze
    • , D. Steeghs
    • , N. R. Tanvir
    • , K. Ulaczyk
    • , S. D. Vergani
    •  & K. Wiersema
    Nature 565, 324-327
  • Research |

    Increased UV–optical nuclear emission in a nearby galaxy together with a spectrum showing emission lines typical of unobscured AGNs and Bowen fluorescence features suggests a longer-term event of intensified accretion onto the central supermassive black hole.

    • Benny Trakhtenbrot
    • , Iair Arcavi
    • , Claudio Ricci
    • , Sandro Tacchella
    • , Daniel Stern
    • , Hagai Netzer
    • , Peter G. Jonker
    • , Assaf Horesh
    • , Julián Esteban Mejía-Restrepo
    • , Griffin Hosseinzadeh
    • , Valentina Hallefors
    • , D. Andrew Howell
    • , Curtis McCully
    • , Mislav Baloković
    • , Marianne Heida
    • , Nikita Kamraj
    • , George Benjamin Lansbury
    • , Łukasz Wyrzykowski
    • , Mariusz Gromadzki
    • , Aleksandra Hamanowicz
    • , S. Bradley Cenko
    • , David J. Sand
    • , Eric Y. Hsiao
    • , Mark M. Phillips
    • , Tiara R. Diamond
    • , Erin Kara
    • , Keith C. Gendreau
    • , Zaven Arzoumanian
    •  & Ron Remillard
  • Research |

    Precise polarization measurements from the gamma-ray burst polarimeter POLAR suggest that the gamma-ray emission is at most polarized at a level lower than predicted by some models and also shows intrapulse evolution of its polarization angle.

    • Shuang-Nan Zhang
    • , Merlin Kole
    • , Tian-Wei Bao
    • , Tadeusz Batsch
    • , Tancredi Bernasconi
    • , Franck Cadoux
    • , Jun-Ying Chai
    • , Zi-Gao Dai
    • , Yong-Wei Dong
    • , Neal Gauvin
    • , Wojtek Hajdas
    • , Mi-Xiang Lan
    • , Han-Cheng Li
    • , Lu Li
    • , Zheng-Heng Li
    • , Jiang-Tao Liu
    • , Xin Liu
    • , Radoslaw Marcinkowski
    • , Nicolas Produit
    • , Silvio Orsi
    • , Martin Pohl
    • , Dominik Rybka
    • , Hao-Li Shi
    • , Li-Ming Song
    • , Jian-Chao Sun
    • , Jacek Szabelski
    • , Teresa Tymieniecka
    • , Rui-Jie Wang
    • , Yuan-Hao Wang
    • , Xing Wen
    • , Bo-Bing Wu
    • , Xin Wu
    • , Xue-Feng Wu
    • , Hua-Lin Xiao
    • , Shao-Lin Xiong
    • , Lai-Yu Zhang
    • , Li Zhang
    • , Xiao-Feng Zhang
    • , Yong-Jie Zhang
    •  & Anna Zwolinska
  • Research |

    A second repeating fast radio burst is detected, showing behaviour similar to that of the first, and demonstrating that repeaters are unlikely to be rare.

    • M. Amiri
    • , K. Bandura
    • , M. Bhardwaj
    • , P. Boubel
    • , M. M. Boyce
    • , P. J. Boyle
    • , C. Brar
    • , M. Burhanpurkar
    • , T. Cassanelli
    • , P. Chawla
    • , J. F. Cliche
    • , D. Cubranic
    • , M. Deng
    • , N. Denman
    • , M. Dobbs
    • , M. Fandino
    • , E. Fonseca
    • , B. M. Gaensler
    • , A. J. Gilbert
    • , A. Gill
    • , U. Giri
    • , D. C. Good
    • , M. Halpern
    • , D. S. Hanna
    • , A. S. Hill
    • , G. Hinshaw
    • , C. Höfer
    • , A. Josephy
    • , V. M. Kaspi
    • , T. L. Landecker
    • , D. A. Lang
    • , H.-H. Lin
    • , K. W. Masui
    • , R. Mckinven
    • , J. Mena-Parra
    • , M. Merryfield
    • , D. Michilli
    • , N. Milutinovic
    • , C. Moatti
    • , A. Naidu
    • , L. B. Newburgh
    • , C. Ng
    • , C. Patel
    • , U. Pen
    • , T. Pinsonneault-Marotte
    • , Z. Pleunis
    • , M. Rafiei-Ravandi
    • , M. Rahman
    • , S. M. Ransom
    • , A. Renard
    • , P. Scholz
    • , J. R. Shaw
    • , S. R. Siegel
    • , K. M. Smith
    • , I. H. Stairs
    • , S. P. Tendulkar
    • , I. Tretyakov
    • , K. Vanderlinde
    •  & P. Yadav
    Nature 566, 235-238
  • Research |

    X-ray observations of the evolution of a black-hole transient suggest a shrinkage of its corona, rather than a change in the inner edge of the accretion disk.

    • E. Kara
    • , J. F. Steiner
    • , A. C. Fabian
    • , E. M. Cackett
    • , P. Uttley
    • , R. A. Remillard
    • , K. C. Gendreau
    • , Z. Arzoumanian
    • , D. Altamirano
    • , S. Eikenberry
    • , T. Enoto
    • , J. Homan
    • , J. Neilsen
    •  & A. L. Stevens
    Nature 565, 198-201

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Since the discovery of the first repeating fast radio burst in 2016, debate has raged over whether it represented a distinct population. With the recent detection of a second repeater using CHIME, the debate is closer to being settled.

    • Emily Petroff
    Nature Astronomy 3, 133-134
  • News and Views |

    The degree of polarization of gamma-ray bursts seems to be lower than previously thought. Gamma-ray polarimetry can reveal the emission mechanism and physical information inside the relativistic jet.

    • Daisuke Yonetoku
  • Editorial |

    A careful analysis of data obtained from the IceCube telescope in Antarctica shows that atmospheric neutrinos can be used as a tomographic probe of the Earth.

  • News and Views |

    The stunning discovery image of the spiral dust plumes enshrouding a Wolf–Rayet binary system dubbed Apep provides new trails of evidence that may bring us closer to resolving outstanding questions on the evolution and death of massive stars.

    • Ryan M. Lau
    Nature Astronomy 3, 20-21
  • News and Views |

    An ultrahigh-energy neutrino event detected with the IceCube detector in Antarctica, simultaneous and co-spatial with a multi-wavelength outburst of a blazar about 3 billion light years away, points unambiguously to lepto-hadronic cooling mechanisms in jetted active galactic nuclei.

    • Elena Pian
    Nature Astronomy 3, 24-25
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Multi-wavelength and multi-messenger astronomy will reveal the phenomena that produce fast radio bursts, turning fast radio bursts into sharper tools with which to probe extragalactic plasma.

    • Sarah Burke-Spolaor
    Nature Astronomy 2, 845-848