Letters

  • Letter |

    A bright X-ray outburst from a massive star cluster 12.5 kpc from a galactic centre fits the profile of a tidal disruption event (TDE), indicating the likely presence of an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH). TDEs could be the most effective way of identifying IMBHs.

    • Dacheng Lin
    • , Jay Strader
    • , Eleazar R. Carrasco
    • , Dany Page
    • , Aaron J. Romanowsky
    • , Jeroen Homan
    • , Jimmy A. Irwin
    • , Ronald A. Remillard
    • , Olivier Godet
    • , Natalie A. Webb
    • , Holger Baumgardt
    • , Rudy Wijnands
    • , Didier Barret
    • , Pierre-Alain Duc
    • , Jean P. Brodie
    •  & Stephen D. J. Gwyn
  • Letter |

    By studying the properties of almost 200 disk galaxies, it is shown that modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND), or MOND-like alternative theories of gravity based on the existence of a fundamental acceleration scale, are ruled out as fundamental theories for galaxies at more than 10σ.

    • Davi C. Rodrigues
    • , Valerio Marra
    • , Antonino del Popolo
    •  & Zahra Davari
  • Letter |

    The presence of nanodiamonds in protoplanetary disks correlates strongly with the detection of anomalous microwave emission from the same disks, implying that spinning nanodiamonds rather than polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are the source of this puzzling ~30 GHz emission feature.

    • J. S. Greaves
    • , A. M. M. Scaife
    • , D. T. Frayer
    • , D. A. Green
    • , B. S. Mason
    •  & A. M. S. Smith
  • Letter |

    The Waves instrument on board the Juno spacecraft has detected ~1,600 lightning strokes in roughly 1 year of close approaches to Jupiter, indicated by low-dispersion rapid whistlers much shorter than those detected by Voyager 1 in Io’s plasma torus.

    • Ivana Kolmašová
    • , Masafumi Imai
    • , Ondřej Santolík
    • , William S. Kurth
    • , George B. Hospodarsky
    • , Donald A. Gurnett
    • , John E. P. Connerney
    •  & Scott J. Bolton
  • Letter |

    Cassini magnetic field and plasma observations find evidence of magnetic reconnection on the dayside of Saturn’s magnetosphere, which can explain local auroral pulsations and play a role in the transport of energetic particles within rapidly rotating magnetospheres.

    • R. L. Guo
    • , Z. H. Yao
    • , Y. Wei
    • , L. C. Ray
    • , I. J. Rae
    • , C. S. Arridge
    • , A. J. Coates
    • , P. A. Delamere
    • , N. Sergis
    • , P. Kollmann
    • , D. Grodent
    • , W. R. Dunn
    • , J. H. Waite
    • , J. L. Burch
    • , Z. Y. Pu
    • , B. Palmaerts
    •  & M. K. Dougherty
  • 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
  • Letter |

    1I/‘Oumuamua observations from the Gemini North telescope, spanning approximately 8 hours on 27–28 October 2017, characterize the magnitude variations of the object and detect its tumbling nature, triggered by an old collision when it was still in its home system.

    • Michał Drahus
    • , Piotr Guzik
    • , Wacław Waniak
    • , Barbara Handzlik
    • , Sebastian Kurowski
    •  & Siyi Xu
  • Letter |

    In Galactic star-forming region W43-MM1 the core mass function (CMF), describing the mass distribution of the birthplaces of stars, is very different from the initial mass function (IMF), the mass distribution of newborn stars. Previously, the IMF was thought to reflect the CMF.

    • F. Motte
    • , T. Nony
    • , F. Louvet
    • , K. A. Marsh
    • , S. Bontemps
    • , A. P. Whitworth
    • , A. Men’shchikov
    • , Q. Nguyễn Lương
    • , T. Csengeri
    • , A. J. Maury
    • , A. Gusdorf
    • , E. Chapillon
    • , V. Könyves
    • , P. Schilke
    • , A. Duarte-Cabral
    • , P. Didelon
    •  & M. Gaudel
  • Letter |

    Α combined study of spatially resolved stellar kinematics and global stellar populations with the SAMI Galaxy Survey finds a strong correlation between the characteristic stellar population age of a galaxy and its intrinsic ellipticity.

    • Jesse van de Sande
    • , Nicholas Scott
    • , Joss Bland-Hawthorn
    • , Sarah Brough
    • , Julia J. Bryant
    • , Matthew Colless
    • , Luca Cortese
    • , Scott M. Croom
    • , Francesco d′Eugenio
    • , Caroline Foster
    • , Michael Goodwin
    • , Iraklis S. Konstantopoulos
    • , Jon S. Lawrence
    • , Richard M. McDermid
    • , Anne M. Medling
    • , Matt S. Owers
    • , Samuel N. Richards
    •  & Rob Sharp
  • Letter |

    The authors predict the ability of the Event Horizon Telescope (in its 2017 campaign) to distinguish between different theories of gravity based on images of Sagittarius A*; they suggest that it will not be possible.

    • Yosuke Mizuno
    • , Ziri Younsi
    • , Christian M. Fromm
    • , Oliver Porth
    • , Mariafelicia De Laurentis
    • , Hector Olivares
    • , Heino Falcke
    • , Michael Kramer
    •  & Luciano Rezzolla
  • Letter |

    Iron has been ramp compressed to the pressures it would experience in the core of a 3–4 Earth-mass terrestrial exoplanet, providing experimental constraints on the mass–radius relationship for a hypothetical pure iron planet.

    • Raymond F. Smith
    • , Dayne E. Fratanduono
    • , David G. Braun
    • , Thomas S. Duffy
    • , June K. Wicks
    • , Peter M. Celliers
    • , Suzanne J. Ali
    • , Amalia Fernandez-Pañella
    • , Richard G. Kraus
    • , Damian C. Swift
    • , Gilbert W. Collins
    •  & Jon H. Eggert
  • Letter |

    Cosmic filaments evolve nonlinearly from density fluctuations produced in the primordial Universe. Detection of cosmic microwave background lensing by filaments allows the measurement of how filaments trace the matter distribution on large scales.

    • Siyu He
    • , Shadab Alam
    • , Simone Ferraro
    • , Yen-Chi Chen
    •  & Shirley Ho
  • Letter |

    Aided by an optical ring-shaped structure visible in the recombination lines of neon and oxygen, a neutron star (the central compact object) has been identified in X-ray data of the supernova remnant 1E 0102.2–7219.

    • Frédéric P. A. Vogt
    • , Elizabeth S. Bartlett
    • , Ivo R. Seitenzahl
    • , Michael A. Dopita
    • , Parviz Ghavamian
    • , Ashley J. Ruiter
    •  & Jason P. Terry
  • Letter |

    Interferometric observations of 3C84 reveal a broad cylindrical jet a few hundred gravitational radii from the black hole, implying that the jet either undergoes a rapid lateral expansion on even smaller scales or is launched from the accretion disk.

    • G. Giovannini
    • , T. Savolainen
    • , M. Orienti
    • , M. Nakamura
    • , H. Nagai
    • , M. Kino
    • , M. Giroletti
    • , K. Hada
    • , G. Bruni
    • , Y. Y. Kovalev
    • , J. M. Anderson
    • , F. D’Ammando
    • , J. Hodgson
    • , M. Honma
    • , T. P. Krichbaum
    • , S.-S. Lee
    • , R. Lico
    • , M. M. Lisakov
    • , A. P. Lobanov
    • , L. Petrov
    • , B. W. Sohn
    • , K. V. Sokolovsky
    • , P. A. Voitsik
    • , J. A. Zensus
    •  & S. Tingay
  • Letter |

    The abundance of metals in Mercury’s interior is unique among the rocky planets of the Solar System. The characterization of the ‘super-Mercury’ exoplanet presented in this paper will improve our understanding of how Mercury-like planets can form and evolve.

    • A. Santerne
    • , B. Brugger
    • , D. J. Armstrong
    • , V. Adibekyan
    • , J. Lillo-Box
    • , H. Gosselin
    • , A. Aguichine
    • , J.-M. Almenara
    • , D. Barrado
    • , S. C. C. Barros
    • , D. Bayliss
    • , I. Boisse
    • , A. S. Bonomo
    • , F. Bouchy
    • , D. J. A. Brown
    • , M. Deleuil
    • , E. Delgado Mena
    • , O. Demangeon
    • , R. F. Díaz
    • , A. Doyle
    • , X. Dumusque
    • , F. Faedi
    • , J. P. Faria
    • , P. Figueira
    • , E. Foxell
    • , H. Giles
    • , G. Hébrard
    • , S. Hojjatpanah
    • , M. Hobson
    • , J. Jackman
    • , G. King
    • , J. Kirk
    • , K. W. F. Lam
    • , R. Ligi
    • , C. Lovis
    • , T. Louden
    • , J. McCormac
    • , O. Mousis
    • , J. J. Neal
    • , H. P. Osborn
    • , F. Pepe
    • , D. Pollacco
    • , N. C. Santos
    • , S. G. Sousa
    • , S. Udry
    •  & A. Vigan
  • Letter |

    A fast-evolving luminous transient (FELT) has been detected with a rise time to peak luminosity of only 2.2 days. This implies that the light-curve of this FELT cannot be powered by the decay of radioactive elements, as with type Ia supernovae.

    • A. Rest
    • , P. M. Garnavich
    • , D. Khatami
    • , D. Kasen
    • , B. E. Tucker
    • , E. J. Shaya
    • , R. P. Olling
    • , R. Mushotzky
    • , A. Zenteno
    • , S. Margheim
    • , G. Strampelli
    • , D. James
    • , R. C. Smith
    • , F. Förster
    •  & V. A. Villar
  • Letter |

    New hydrodynamical models are used to fit the Fermi-LAT data of the Galactic centre and show that the excess γ-ray emission of the region is better fitted by a non-spherical shape, indicating that it is not caused by dark-matter-related phenomena.

    • Oscar Macias
    • , Chris Gordon
    • , Roland M. Crocker
    • , Brendan Coleman
    • , Dylan Paterson
    • , Shunsaku Horiuchi
    •  & Martin Pohl
  • Letter |

    Laboratory experiments explore aerosol formation at conditions that can be found on planets with radii between Earth and Neptune that do not exist in the Solar System but are common elsewhere. Photochemically generated hazes are produced in most cases.

    • Sarah M. Hörst
    • , Chao He
    • , Nikole K. Lewis
    • , Eliza M.-R. Kempton
    • , Mark S. Marley
    • , Caroline V. Morley
    • , Julianne I. Moses
    • , Jeff A. Valenti
    •  & Véronique Vuitton
  • Letter |

    This paper puts into question the standard scenario of a primordial formation for bilobate comets. The authors show that bilobate comets can retain their properties even if they form through collisions of larger bodies, which can happen at any time.

    • Stephen R. Schwartz
    • , Patrick Michel
    • , Martin Jutzi
    • , Simone Marchi
    • , Yun Zhang
    •  & Derek C. Richardson