Jes Jørgensen/Daniel Harsono (University of Copenhagen, Leiden Observatory)

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This month we look at the four concept missions for the 2020 Decadal Survey for Astronomy and Astrophysics, as well as the start of planet formation (pictured), spinning nanodiamonds and much more...

Latest Research

  • Letter |

    Star TYC 429-2097-1 contains the most lithium of any giant star, but lithium is too fragile to survive in the deep layers of a stellar atmosphere. How does the enrichment arise? Yan et al. rule out external sources (engulfment, accretion), favouring an internal process called ‘extra mixing’.

    • Hong-Liang Yan
    • , Jian-Rong Shi
    • , Yu-Tao Zhou
    • , Yong-Shou Chen
    • , Er-Tao Li
    • , Suyalatu Zhang
    • , Shao-Lan Bi
    • , Ya-Qian Wu
    • , Zhi-Hong Li
    • , Bing Guo
    • , Wei-Ping Liu
    • , Qi Gao
    • , Jun-Bo Zhang
    • , Ze-Ming Zhou
    • , Hai-Ning Li
    •  & Gang Zhao
  • Article |

    An image-template analysis of eight years of Fermi-LAT data shows that the anomalous emission of gigaelectronvolt energies close to the centre of our Galaxy is better fitted with a boxy-shaped bulge generated by stars — possibly millisecond pulsars — than with a dark matter signal.

    • Richard Bartels
    • , Emma Storm
    • , Christoph Weniger
    •  & Francesca Calore
  • Letter |

    Double-shell planetary nebula HuBi 1 has an inner shell that emits in low ionization potential species, and an outer shell that emits in high-ionization species. This is the inverse of the usual case. The cause is the nebula’s rapidly fading central star that went through a ‘born-again’ event.

    • Martín A. Guerrero
    • , Xuan Fang
    • , Marcelo M. Miller Bertolami
    • , Gerardo Ramos-Larios
    • , Helge Todt
    • , Alexandre Alarie
    • , Laurence Sabin
    • , Luis F. Miranda
    • , Christophe Morisset
    • , Carolina Kehrig
    •  & Saúl A. Zavala
  • Letter |

    Thirty years after an initial, tentative detection, the molecule 26AlF has now been firmly detected in space, by the observation of four different rotational transitions towards stellar merger remnant CK Vul. Curiously, CK Vul and similar objects are unlikely to be major sources of Galactic 26Al.

    • Tomasz Kamiński
    • , Romuald Tylenda
    • , Karl M. Menten
    • , Amanda Karakas
    • , Jan Martin Winters
    • , Alexander A. Breier
    • , Ka Tat Wong
    • , Thomas F. Giesen
    •  & Nimesh A. Patel
  • Perspective |

    We study the situation of women astronomers in Spain, based on statistical data and in-depth interviews with teaching staff and researchers at all career stages. Our results are presented as a motivation for further similar or expanded studies.

    • Eulalia Pérez Sedeño
    • , Adriana Kiczkowski
    •  & Isabel Márquez Pérez
  • Perspective |

    There is not enough CO2 in the Martian system that could be mobilized — with present-day or near-future technologies — to provide enough greenhouse warming that could lead to the terraforming of the planet.

    • Bruce M. Jakosky
    •  & Christopher S. Edwards

News & Comment

  • Editorial |

    The 2020 US Decadal Survey for Astrophysics is almost here — but in these years of flat cash and major mission delays, how much can we afford to dream?

  • News & Views |

    Dark matter is deemed essential for describing galaxy dynamics. A prominent alternative theory can make the same predictions without dark matter, by introducing a universal acceleration constant. Recent high-quality observations of galaxies are used to investigate whether this constant is really a constant.

    • W. J. G. de Blok
  • Comment |

    The next-generation observatory Lynx will provide an unprecedented X-ray view of the otherwise invisible Universe, directly observing the dawn of supermassive black holes, revealing the drivers of galaxy formation, tracing stellar activity including effects on planet habitability, and transforming our knowledge of the endpoints of stellar evolution.

    • Feryal Özel
  • Meeting Report |

    The biennial Harvard Sackler conference this year focused on gravitational-wave astrophysics, with a comprehensive programme that reviewed recent discoveries and discussed prospects for a bright future.

    • Lisa Barsotti
  • Comment |

    LUVOIR is a concept for a powerful, flexible space observatory to enable the first survey for exoplanets most similar to the Earth, search for signs of life in our Solar System and beyond, and revolutionize astrophysics in the twenty-first century.

    • Aki Roberge
    •  & Leonidas A. Moustakas

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