NASA/JPL-Caltech/Robert Hurt

Optical jet lag

Measurements of a lag between optical and X-ray emission from a black-hole jet provide insights into plasma physics.

Latest Research

  • Letter |

    During reconfinement in unmagnetized relativistic jets, a centrifugal instability develops that leads to a turbulent state. This instability likely lies behind the division of active galactic nuclei jets into the two Fanaroff–Riley classes.

    • Konstantinos N. Gourgouliatos
    •  & Serguei S. Komissarov
  • Letter |

    A global flow model of Europa’s icy crust coupled with the underlying ocean shows the presence of a meridional ice flow. Convection and ocean heat transport can affect the direction and intensity of the flow and the gradients in ice thickness.

    • Yosef Ashkenazy
    • , Roiy Sayag
    •  & Eli Tziperman
  • Letter |

    Similar physical processes regulate the angular momentum of gas-giant planets and planetary-mass brown dwarfs. These processes are active mostly during the early phase of planetary evolution as rotation rates do not change after the first 2–300 Myr.

    • Marta L. Bryan
    • , Björn Benneke
    • , Heather A. Knutson
    • , Konstantin Batygin
    •  & Brendan P. Bowler
  • Perspective |

    On the 50th anniversary of the discovery of pulsars Jocelyn Bell Burnell reflects on their detection, our current understanding of these stars and the new era of discovery ushered in by next-generation radio observatories.

    • Jocelyn Bell Burnell
  • Perspective |

    The Lovell Telescope at the Jodrell Bank Observatory has played a fundamental role in pulsar astronomy from the discovery of pulsars until the present day. This Perspective reviews the telescope’s accomplished history in astronomy and the early space race.

    • Andrew Lyne
    •  & Ian Morison
  • Letter |

    Precise proper motions of Sculptor’s stars based on Gaia and the Hubble Space Telescope show that Sculptor moves on a high-inclination elongated orbit around the Milky Way and require abandoning conventional models for Sculptor’s mass distribution.

    • D. Massari
    • , M. A. Breddels
    • , A. Helmi
    • , L. Posti
    • , A. G. A. Brown
    •  & E. Tolstoy

News & Comment

  • Mission Control |

    The Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) is looking for neutron stars and pulsars from its perch on the International Space Station. Keith Gendreau and Zaven Arzoumanian provide an overview of its capabilities.

    • Keith Gendreau
    •  & Zaven Arzoumanian
  • News and Views |

    Black holes absorb everything and emit nothing, yet relativistic jets of plasma are observed to emanate from systems hosting accreting black holes. We now know exactly how far from the black hole these processes take place.

    • Nikolaos D. Kylafis
  • Comment |

    Pulsar timing arrays may well be the next type of experiment to detect gravitational waves. Sensitive to lower frequencies than LIGO–Virgo, they will detect the stochastic background of massive binary black hole mergers.

    • Andrea N. Lommen

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