Stephen R. Schwartz, University of Arizona/Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur

Read our May issue

This month we focus on astronomy research off the beaten path, and venture to visiting comets, pungent planets and beyond...

Latest Research

  • Letter |

    Images of 67P's nucleus from the Rosetta spacecraft, together with numerical simulations, show that the jet-like features of cometary comae can be produced by diffuse activity focused by the nucleus topography as well as non-uniform insolation over the surface.

    • X. Shi
    • , X. Hu
    • , S. Mottola
    • , H. Sierks
    • , H. U. Keller
    • , M. Rose
    • , C. Güttler
    • , M. Fulle
    • , S. Fornasier
    • , J. Agarwal
    • , M. Pajola
    • , C. Tubiana
    • , D. Bodewits
    • , C. Barbieri
    • , P. L. Lamy
    • , R. Rodrigo
    • , D. Koschny
    • , M. A. Barucci
    • , J.-L. Bertaux
    • , I. Bertini
    • , S. Boudreault
    • , G. Cremonese
    • , V. Da Deppo
    • , B. Davidsson
    • , S. Debei
    • , M. De Cecco
    • , J. Deller
    • , O. Groussin
    • , P. J. Gutiérrez
    • , S. F. Hviid
    • , W.-H. Ip
    • , L. Jorda
    • , J. Knollenberg
    • , G. Kovacs
    • , J.-R. Kramm
    • , E. Kührt
    • , M. Küppers
    • , L. M. Lara
    • , M. Lazzarin
    • , J. J. Lopez-Moreno
    • , F. Marzari
    • , G. Naletto
    • , N. Oklay
    • , I. Toth
    •  & J.-B. Vincent
  • Letter |

    The hypothesis of an ocean under the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa is strengthened by in-situ evidence of a plume, inferred by Galileo’s magnetic field and plasma density measurements obtained during the spacecraft’s closest flyby to the moon.

    • Xianzhe Jia
    • , Margaret G. Kivelson
    • , Krishan K. Khurana
    •  & William S. Kurth
  • Letter |

    Supernova SN 2015bs is a hydrogen-rich type II supernova that appears to have been generated by a high-mass (>18 M) and low-metallicity (<0.1 Z) red supergiant progenitor.

    • J. P. Anderson
    • , L. Dessart
    • , C. P. Gutiérrez
    • , T. Krühler
    • , L. Galbany
    • , A. Jerkstrand
    • , S. J. Smartt
    • , C. Contreras
    • , N. Morrell
    • , M. M. Phillips
    • , M. D. Stritzinger
    • , E. Y. Hsiao
    • , S. González-Gaitán
    • , C. Agliozzo
    • , S. Castellón
    • , K. C. Chambers
    • , T. -W. Chen
    • , H. Flewelling
    • , C. Gonzalez
    • , G. Hosseinzadeh
    • , M. Huber
    • , M. Fraser
    • , C. Inserra
    • , E. Kankare
    • , S. Mattila
    • , E. Magnier
    • , K. Maguire
    • , T. B. Lowe
    • , J. Sollerman
    • , M. Sullivan
    • , D. R. Young
    •  & S. Valenti
  • Letter |

    Until recently, stellar evolution models had not been able to explain the presence of bright planetary nebulae in old stellar populations. Using the revised evolutionary tracks of Miller Bertolami (2016), it is now evident that lower-mass and longer-lived planetary nebulae can be bright.

    • K. Gesicki
    • , A. A. Zijlstra
    •  & M. M. Miller Bertolami
  • Letter |

    Analysis of a six-year time series of SDO/HMI images of the solar photosphere reveals the existence of global-scale equatorial Rossby waves in the Sun, which contain a large fraction of the radial vorticity at these scales.

    • Björn Löptien
    • , Laurent Gizon
    • , Aaron C. Birch
    • , Jesper Schou
    • , Bastian Proxauf
    • , Thomas L. Duvall Jr
    • , Richard S. Bogart
    •  & Ulrich R. Christensen

News & Comment

  • News & Views |

    Supermassive binary black holes are thought to lie at the centres of merging galaxies. The blazar OJ 287 is the poster child of such systems, showing strong and periodic variability across the electromagnetic spectrum. A new study questions the physical origin of this variability.

    • Zulema Abraham
  • Meeting Report |

    With the ever-growing list of exoplanets fuelling hope for finding life beyond the Solar System, the recent Breakthrough Discuss meeting redirected attention back to our own neighbourhood.

    • John C. Forbes
  • Research Highlight |

    • Luca Maltagliati
  • Comment |

    Upcoming telescopes might be able to detect signatures of complex life on other worlds, but we need to involve physical, chemical and life scientists at the planning stage in order to interpret the findings when the time comes.

    • Dirk Schulze-Makuch
    •  & William Bains