Perspectives

  • Perspective |

    ‘Oumuamua is the first interstellar interloper observed in our Solar System and studied in some detail. This Perspective reviews the data acquired during its visit and discusses its origin and properties, concluding that there is no basis to the theory of an artificial ‘Oumuamua.

    • Michele T. Bannister
    • , Asmita Bhandare
    • , Piotr A. Dybczyński
    • , Alan Fitzsimmons
    • , Aurélie Guilbert-Lepoutre
    • , Robert Jedicke
    • , Matthew M. Knight
    • , Karen J. Meech
    • , Andrew McNeill
    • , Susanne Pfalzner
    • , Sean N. Raymond
    • , Colin Snodgrass
    • , David E. Trilling
    •  & Quanzhi Ye
  • Perspective |

    The future of Solar System exploration lies in the subsurface of rocky bodies, including planets. Robots provide a relatively cost-effective and safe method of probing the subsurface; this Perspective summarizes recent efforts in robotic drilling and regolith-sampling methods, concluding with a summary of China’s future space exploration plans.

    • Tao Zhang
    • , Kun Xu
    • , Zhixiao Yao
    • , Xilun Ding
    • , Zeng Zhao
    • , Xuyan Hou
    • , Yong Pang
    • , Xiaoming Lai
    • , Wenming Zhang
    • , Shuting Liu
    •  & Jianfeng Deng
  • Perspective |

    Examining and comparing many of the definitions of a black hole, it is concluded that the profusion of different definitions is a virtue that makes the investigation of black holes possible and fruitful in many different kinds of problems.

    • Erik Curiel
  • Perspective |

    KAGRA is a new gravitational wave detector being built in Japan. Unlike LIGO/Virgo, it will operate at cryogenic temperatures with sapphire mirrors. KAGRA will help improve the localization of gravitational wave detections and determination of the source parameters.

    • T. Akutsu
    • , M. Ando
    • , K. Arai
    • , Y. Arai
    • , S. Araki
    • , A. Araya
    • , N. Aritomi
    • , H. Asada
    • , Y. Aso
    • , S. Atsuta
    • , K. Awai
    • , S. Bae
    • , L. Baiotti
    • , M. A. Barton
    • , K. Cannon
    • , E. Capocasa
    • , C-S. Chen
    • , T-W. Chiu
    • , K. Cho
    • , Y-K. Chu
    • , K. Craig
    • , W. Creus
    • , K. Doi
    • , K. Eda
    • , Y. Enomoto
    • , R. Flaminio
    • , Y. Fujii
    • , M.-K. Fujimoto
    • , M. Fukunaga
    • , M. Fukushima
    • , T. Furuhata
    • , S. Haino
    • , K. Hasegawa
    • , K. Hashino
    • , K. Hayama
    • , S. Hirobayashi
    • , E. Hirose
    • , B. H. Hsieh
    • , C-Z. Huang
    • , B. Ikenoue
    • , Y. Inoue
    • , K. Ioka
    • , Y. Itoh
    • , K. Izumi
    • , T. Kaji
    • , T. Kajita
    • , M. Kakizaki
    • , M. Kamiizumi
    • , S. Kanbara
    • , N. Kanda
    • , S. Kanemura
    • , M. Kaneyama
    • , G. Kang
    • , J. Kasuya
    • , Y. Kataoka
    • , N. Kawai
    • , S. Kawamura
    • , T. Kawasaki
    • , C. Kim
    • , J. Kim
    • , J. C. Kim
    • , W. S. Kim
    • , Y.-M. Kim
    • , N. Kimura
    • , T. Kinugawa
    • , S. Kirii
    • , Y. Kitaoka
    • , H. Kitazawa
    • , Y. Kojima
    • , K. Kokeyama
    • , K. Komori
    • , A. K. H. Kong
    • , K. Kotake
    • , R. Kozu
    • , R. Kumar
    • , H-S. Kuo
    • , S. Kuroyanagi
    • , H. K. Lee
    • , H. M. Lee
    • , H. W. Lee
    • , M. Leonardi
    • , C-Y. Lin
    • , F-L. Lin
    • , G. C. Liu
    • , Y. Liu
    • , E. Majorana
    • , S. Mano
    • , M. Marchio
    • , T. Matsui
    • , F. Matsushima
    • , Y. Michimura
    • , N. Mio
    • , O. Miyakawa
    • , A. Miyamoto
    • , T. Miyamoto
    • , K. Miyo
    • , S. Miyoki
    • , W. Morii
    • , S. Morisaki
    • , Y. Moriwaki
    • , T. Morozumi
    • , M. Musha
    • , K. Nagano
    • , S. Nagano
    • , K. Nakamura
    • , T. Nakamura
    • , H. Nakano
    • , M. Nakano
    • , K. Nakao
    • , T. Narikawa
    • , L. Naticchioni
    • , L. Nguyen Quynh
    • , W.-T. Ni
    • , A. Nishizawa
    • , Y. Obuchi
    • , T. Ochi
    • , J. J. Oh
    • , S. H. Oh
    • , M. Ohashi
    • , N. Ohishi
    • , M. Ohkawa
    • , K. Okutomi
    • , K. Ono
    • , K. Oohara
    • , C. P. Ooi
    • , S-S. Pan
    • , J. Park
    • , F. E. Peña Arellano
    • , I. Pinto
    • , N. Sago
    • , M. Saijo
    • , S. Saitou
    • , Y. Saito
    • , K. Sakai
    • , Y. Sakai
    • , Y. Sakai
    • , M. Sasai
    • , M. Sasaki
    • , Y. Sasaki
    • , S. Sato
    • , N. Sato
    • , T. Sato
    • , Y. Sekiguchi
    • , N. Seto
    • , M. Shibata
    • , T. Shimoda
    • , H. Shinkai
    • , T. Shishido
    • , A. Shoda
    • , K. Somiya
    • , E. J. Son
    • , A. Suemasa
    • , T. Suzuki
    • , T. Suzuki
    • , H. Tagoshi
    • , H. Tahara
    • , H. Takahashi
    • , R. Takahashi
    • , A. Takamori
    • , H. Takeda
    • , H. Tanaka
    • , K. Tanaka
    • , T. Tanaka
    • , S. Tanioka
    • , E. N. Tapia San Martin
    • , D. Tatsumi
    • , T. Tomaru
    • , T. Tomura
    • , F. Travasso
    • , K. Tsubono
    • , S. Tsuchida
    • , N. Uchikata
    • , T. Uchiyama
    • , T. Uehara
    • , S. Ueki
    • , K. Ueno
    • , F. Uraguchi
    • , T. Ushiba
    • , M. H. P. M. van Putten
    • , H. Vocca
    • , S. Wada
    • , T. Wakamatsu
    • , Y. Watanabe
    • , W-R. Xu
    • , T. Yamada
    • , A. Yamamoto
    • , K. Yamamoto
    • , K. Yamamoto
    • , S. Yamamoto
    • , T. Yamamoto
    • , K. Yokogawa
    • , J. Yokoyama
    • , T. Yokozawa
    • , T. H. Yoon
    • , T. Yoshioka
    • , H. Yuzurihara
    • , S. Zeidler
    •  & Z.-H. Zhu
  • Perspective |

    The sunspot number time series is an essential tool to determine the secular variations of solar activity, but particular care must be taken to handle and present incomplete temporal coverage. The authors present the current state of research and propose a new way to visualize long-term solar activity data.

    • Andrés Muñoz-Jaramillo
    •  & José M. Vaquero
  • Perspective |

    The first fast radio burst (FRB) was discovered in 2007, and in the following decade ~25 more were detected. Now the field stands on the brink of an explosion of detections, largely driven by the availability of new radio facilities. One of the founders of the field, Duncan Lorimer, reviews the early years of FRB science.

    • Duncan R. Lorimer
  • 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
  • Perspective |

    Should science be taught differently? By emphasizing the process, not the acquisition of factual knowledge, students will learn how to solve problems and see science as relevant to their careers outside of research.

    • Sun Kwok
  • Perspective |

    CubeSats, a standardized subgroup of small satellites, are a cheap and flexible solution to perform astronomical observations from space that is just starting to be exploited. This Perspective presents an overview of their advantages and of the current and planned projects.

    • Evgenya L. Shkolnik
  • Perspective |

    The only known planet whose densest part of the ionosphere is dominated by oxygen ions is Earth. The authors argue that this state is strictly related to the presence of photosynthesis. Ionospheric O+ can thus be used as a biomarker for exoplanets.

    • Michael Mendillo
    • , Paul Withers
    •  & Paul A. Dalba
  • 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
  • Perspective |

    Black holes and spacetime singularities are fundamental in science. While observational proof for black holes is hard to come by, alternatives can be ruled out or confirmed to exist through precision gravitational wave observations.

    • Vitor Cardoso
    •  & Paolo Pani
  • Perspective |

    Australian astronomy has a bright future due to recent investments in major new telescopes, instruments and research centres. In this process, Australia's focus continues to shift from national facilities to new multinational and global partnerships.

    • Elaine M. Sadler
  • Perspective |

    The detection of gravitational waves is the culmination of many decades of persistent theoretical, observational and engineering work. While heralded as surprising, that the first detected wavescame from binary black holes was indeed theoretically expected.

    • Vicky Kalogera
  • Perspective |

    From the first hints of unseen matter in the Universe to the present body of evidence for dark matter, James Peebles outlines the significant developments in observation and theory in the 1970s in this Insight Perspective.

    • P. J. E. Peebles