Read the June issue

This month we look at magnetic fields in the disk of Centaurus A (pictured), evidence for an intermediate mass black hole, the gender gap in Australian astronomy and much more...

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  • Three years of observations with the ExoMars TGO Atmospheric Chemistry Suite have clarified the mechanism of atmospheric water loss from Mars, and particularly the fraction of deuterium compared with hydrogen. Analysis of several isotopologues of water in the mid-atmosphere of Mars shows that atomic H and D are produced at perihelion in relative amounts controlled by photolysis. These atoms are able to escape from the atmosphere.

    • Juan Alday
    • Alexander Trokhimovskiy
    • Alexey Shakun
  • By stacking thousands of cosmic filaments and examining the velocity of galaxies perpendicular to the filament’s axis, it is shown that they display vortical motion consistent with rotation, signifying that angular momentum can be generated on unexpectedly large scales.

    • Peng Wang
    • Noam I. Libeskind
    • Quan Guo
  • What is the origin of the methane detected in Enceladus’s plumes? A Bayesian approach to the problem shows that abiotic serpentinization of rocks cannot explain the methane abundance by itself, and biotic methane production gets the highest likelihood—provided the probability of life emerging at Enceladus is high.

    • Antonin Affholder
    • François Guyot
    • Stéphane Mazevet
  • Under the pressure of a watery ocean, rock-forming minerals might dissolve at a planet’s rock–water interface, generating a denser-than-water layer that should be incorporated into models. The experimental data for MgO presented here are relevant to water-rich Earth-sized planets such as TRAPPIST-1 c and f, and to Uranus.

    • Taehyun Kim
    • Stella Chariton
    • Yongjae Lee

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