Konstantinos N. Gourgouliatos, Durham University

Read our February issue

This issue includes 'Oumuamua's organic coating, dust helping water escape on Mars and proper motions of stars in a dwarf galaxy, and more.

Latest Research

  • Article |

    A model for the non-thermal emission of pulsars can fit their γ- and X-ray spectra using just four physical parameters. The model explains several spectral features, and can be used to predict the detectability of pulsars in X-rays given the γ-ray emission, and vice versa.

    • Diego F. Torres
  • Perspective |

    The only known planet whose densest part of the ionosphere is dominated by oxygen ions is Earth. The authors argue that this state is strictly related to the presence of photosynthesis. Ionospheric O+ can thus be used as a biomarker for exoplanets.

    • Michael Mendillo
    • , Paul Withers
    •  & Paul A. Dalba
  • Letter |

    The brightness variations of the interstellar object 1I/’Oumuamua observed during six nights are incompatible with a unique rotation rate, indicating that the body is tumbling. Colour measurements suggest a heterogeneous surface, with a large red region.

    • Wesley C. Fraser
    • , Petr Pravec
    • , Alan Fitzsimmons
    • , Pedro Lacerda
    • , Michele T. Bannister
    • , Colin Snodgrass
    •  & Igor Smolić
  • Letter |

    A geochemical model for the state of early Mars suggests that short-term warm events grafted onto a generally cold climate could form Al-rich phyllosilicates in short-lived surface water bodies and Mg-rich ones in hydrothermal subsurface environments.

    • Janice L. Bishop
    • , Alberto G. Fairén
    • , Joseph R. Michalski
    • , Luis Gago-Duport
    • , Leslie L. Baker
    • , Michael A. Velbel
    • , Christoph Gross
    •  & Elizabeth B. Rampe
  • Letter |

    Hubble observations of the TRAPPIST-1 system exclude the presence of H2-dominated cloud-free atmospheres for the three planets within or around the system’s habitable zone. This result supports the hypothesis that these planets are terrestrial in nature.

    • Julien de Wit
    • , Hannah R. Wakeford
    • , Nikole K. Lewis
    • , Laetitia Delrez
    • , Michaël Gillon
    • , Frank Selsis
    • , Jérémy Leconte
    • , Brice-Olivier Demory
    • , Emeline Bolmont
    • , Vincent Bourrier
    • , Adam J. Burgasser
    • , Simon Grimm
    • , Emmanuël Jehin
    • , Susan M. Lederer
    • , James E. Owen
    • , Vlada Stamenković
    •  & Amaury H. M. J. Triaud
  • Letter |

    The efficiency of the chemical desorption caused by the reactions between H2S, HS and H on an icy grain surface analogue has been quantified by means of in situ infrared measurements of the surface, providing valuable information for understanding non-thermal desorption processes.

    • Y. Oba
    • , T. Tomaru
    • , T. Lamberts
    • , A. Kouchi
    •  & N. Watanabe

News & Comment

  • Comment |

    Hurricane Maria was 2 mph short of category 5 when it made landfall on Puerto Rico on 20 September 2017. The 305 m radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory withstood the storm, suffering only minor structural damage. Staff have worked diligently to return the site to full operations and provide vital services to the surrounding Puerto Rican community.

    • Edgard G. Rivera-Valentín
    •  & Joan T. Schmelz
  • Comment |

    The Ali Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization Telescope — currently under construction in the Ngari prefecture of Tibet — will search for primordial gravitational waves and probe the origin of the Universe.

    • Hong Li
    • , Si-Yu Li
    • , Yang Liu
    • , Yong-Ping Li
    •  & Xinmin Zhang
  • News & Views |

    Observations and thermal models of the first interstellar visitor 1I/‘Oumuamua show that ices could have survived a long interstellar journey, suggesting the possibility that ‘Oumuamua could be a comet.

    • Karen J. Meech
  • News & Views |

    Newly measured proper motions of a dozen stars in the Sculptor dwarf galaxy provide important insight into its distribution of dark matter. This result was made possible by combining measurements of star positions from Hubble Space Telescope and Gaia data.

    • Jos de Bruijne
  • Editorial |

    More and more private money is pouring into astronomical research and space exploration, and it's not all hype.

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