Read the November issue

This month we revisit the Drake equation, listen towards Proxima Centuri for technosignatures, look to a lensed supernova as a cosmological probe, and much more...

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  • Water and hydroxyl enrichment in the solar-wind-irradiated rim of an olivine grain from asteroid Itokawa suggests that its regolith could contain ~20 l m−3 of water from solar wind—a potential water source for airless planetary bodies.

    • Luke Daly
    • Martin R. Lee
    • Michelle S. Thompson
  • The resonant chain of the TRAPPIST-1 planets is dynamically fragile, as small perturbations during its lifetime would have disrupted it. N-body simulations show that the system could not have interacted with more than 0.05 Earth masses of material after its formation. Thus, any water in the planets must come from the planets’ original accretion.

    • Sean N. Raymond
    • Andre Izidoro
    • Simon L. Grimm
  • The detection of the HF molecule in a lensed galaxy at z = 4.4 suggests a rapid chemical enrichment. Wolf–Rayet stars are the most likely providers of the fluorine.

    • M. Franco
    • K. E. K. Coppin
    • M. J. Michałowski
  • Up to 40% of ultra-diffuse galaxies could have formed via stripping of material by ram pressure. A study on 11 low-mass post-starburst galaxies in the Coma and Abell 2147 clusters shows ubiquitous marks of ram-pressure stripping and recent star formation, and most of them will evolve into ultra-diffuse galaxies in the next 10 Gyr.

    • Kirill A. Grishin
    • Igor V. Chilingarian
    • Masafumi Yagi
  • Although often not publicly identified, the personalities and life experiences of our referees affect their reviewing practices. Therefore having the most diverse set of reviewers possible underpins our efforts to ensure a fair peer review process.

  • Recent work has questioned whether nature can extract the rotational energy of a black hole via electromagnetic fields. Although we show that the Blandford–Znajek effect is sound, the deeper physics of the electric nature of black holes remains unresolved.

    • David Garofalo
    • Chandra B. Singh
  • The question of the possibility of life beyond Earth, as framed by the Drake equation, can be quantified to show that habitable environments for life as we know it are commonplace in the Galaxy.

    • Stephen J. Mojzsis

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