Latest Research

  • Letter |

    The identification and dating of ~30 cryovolcanic domes on Ceres from Dawn data shows that cryovolcanism has been continuous on the dwarf planet at least for the last 2.5 Gyr, but not at rates comparable with standard volcanism on terrestrial planets.

    • Michael M. Sori
    • , Hanna G. Sizemore
    • , Shane Byrne
    • , Ali M. Bramson
    • , Michael T. Bland
    • , Nathaniel T. Stein
    •  & Christopher T. Russell
  • Letter |

    Probing the pre-explosion environments of hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae is important for understanding how they exploded. Here, Lunnan et al. infer the presence of a fast-moving circumstellar shell around iPTF16eh through the detection of a resonance-line light echo, which indicates the massive progenitor experienced pulsational pair instability shell ejections.

    • R. Lunnan
    • , C. Fransson
    • , P. M. Vreeswijk
    • , S. E. Woosley
    • , G. Leloudas
    • , D. A. Perley
    • , R. M. Quimby
    • , Lin Yan
    • , N. Blagorodnova
    • , B. D. Bue
    • , S. B. Cenko
    • , A. De Cia
    • , D. O. Cook
    • , C. U. Fremling
    • , P. Gatkine
    • , A. Gal-Yam
    • , M. M. Kasliwal
    • , S. R. Kulkarni
    • , F. J. Masci
    • , P. E. Nugent
    • , A. Nyholm
    • , A. Rubin
    • , N. Suzuki
    •  & P. Wozniak
  • Letter |

    The mechanisms that sustain turbulence in a molecular cloud are not well understood. Using magnetohydrodynamic simulations, the effects of stellar winds on a cloud are studied, finding that energy can be efficiently transferred in magnetic waves generated by this stellar ‘feedback’.

    • Stella S. R. Offner
    •  & Yue Liu
  • Letter |

    The Patroclus–Menoetius Jupiter Trojan binary could survive its travel from the Kuiper belt to Jupiter’s orbit only if the giant planets’ migrations happened within ~100 Myr after the birth of the Solar System and not after ~700 Myr, as suggested instead by the Late Heavy Bombardment.

    • David Nesvorný
    • , David Vokrouhlický
    • , William F. Bottke
    •  & Harold F. Levison
  • Article |

    The James Webb Space Telescope may detect and distinguish a young galaxy that hosts a direct-collapse black hole and nearby massive metal-free star formation at redshift 15 with as little as a 20,000-second total exposure time across four filters.

    • Kirk S. S. Barrow
    • , Aycin Aykutalp
    •  & John H. Wise
  • Article |

    The shock breakout (SBO) is the first electromagnetic signature of a supernova (SN) explosion. Förster et al. find that in nearly all type II SNe they survey that the SBO occurs on a timescale of days, indicating that the progenitors were surrounded by thick circumstellar matter when they exploded.

    • F. Förster
    • , T. J. Moriya
    • , J. C. Maureira
    • , J. P. Anderson
    • , S. Blinnikov
    • , F. Bufano
    • , G. Cabrera-Vives
    • , A. Clocchiatti
    • , T. de Jaeger
    • , P. A. Estévez
    • , L. Galbany
    • , S. González-Gaitán
    • , G. Gräfener
    • , M. Hamuy
    • , E. Y. Hsiao
    • , P. Huentelemu
    • , P. Huijse
    • , H. Kuncarayakti
    • , J. Martínez
    • , G. Medina
    • , F. Olivares E.
    • , G. Pignata
    • , A. Razza
    • , I. Reyes
    • , J. San Martín
    • , R. C. Smith
    • , E. Vera
    • , A. K. Vivas
    • , A. de Ugarte Postigo
    • , S.-C. Yoon
    • , C. Ashall
    • , M. Fraser
    • , A. Gal-Yam
    • , E. Kankare
    • , L. Le Guillou
    • , P. A. Mazzali
    • , N. A. Walton
    •  & D. R. Young
  • Letter |

    Cosmochemical evidence is used to constrain models of Jupiter formation, which unfolds in three distinct phases: a rapid pebble accretion during the first Myr, followed by a slower growth controlled by larger planetesimals, ending in a runaway gas accretion stage.

    • Yann Alibert
    • , Julia Venturini
    • , Ravit Helled
    • , Sareh Ataiee
    • , Remo Burn
    • , Luc Senecal
    • , Willy Benz
    • , Lucio Mayer
    • , Christoph Mordasini
    • , Sascha P. Quanz
    •  & Maria Schönbächler
  • Article |

    A 3D magnetohydrodynamic model forecasted the state of the solar corona during the eclipse that occurred on 21 August 2017, using observations taken ten days before the eclipse as boundary conditions. The agreement between the predicted images and those observed during the eclipse is very good.

    • Zoran Mikić
    • , Cooper Downs
    • , Jon A. Linker
    • , Ronald M. Caplan
    • , Duncan H. Mackay
    • , Lisa A. Upton
    • , Pete Riley
    • , Roberto Lionello
    • , Tibor Török
    • , Viacheslav S. Titov
    • , Janvier Wijaya
    • , Miloslav Druckmüller
    • , Jay M. Pasachoff
    •  & Wendy Carlos
  • Letter |

    A data-driven study of the too-big-to-fail problem of Milky Way dwarf spheroidals within the self-interacting dark matter paradigm finds a good description of their stellar kinematics and compatibility with the concentration–mass relation of pure cold dark matter simulations.

    • Mauro Valli
    •  & Hai-Bo Yu
  • 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
  • Article |

    A model reconstructs the radiation dose from both protons and electrons on Europa’s surface. Using laboratory data on irradiated amino acids, it shows that organics can be preserved at detectable levels at depths of just a few centimetres at mid-to-high latitudes and in young (<10-Myr-old) terrains.

    • T. A. Nordheim
    • , K. P. Hand
    •  & C. Paranicas
  • Article |

    The MAVEN spacecraft observed brightening in the Lyman-α line correlated with solar wind activity, which can be attributed to auroral activity by solar wind protons interacting with the Martian neutral hydrogen corona. Proton aurorae are normally seen at Earth only.

    • J. Deighan
    • , S. K. Jain
    • , M. S. Chaffin
    • , X. Fang
    • , J. S. Halekas
    • , J. T. Clarke
    • , N. M. Schneider
    • , A. I. F. Stewart
    • , J.-Y. Chaufray
    • , J. S. Evans
    • , M. H. Stevens
    • , M. Mayyasi
    • , A. Stiepen
    • , M. Crismani
    • , W. E. McClintock
    • , G. M. Holsclaw
    • , D. Y. Lo
    • , F. Montmessin
    • , F. Lefèvre
    •  & B. M. Jakosky
  • Letter |

    A dark, ribbon-like structure at Jupiter’s magnetic equator marks a depletion of ionospheric H3+ caused by a lack of photoelectrons. These photoelectrons, which collide with molecular hydrogen to form H3+, are deviated away by magnetic field lines.

    • Tom S. Stallard
    • , Angeline G. Burrell
    • , Henrik Melin
    • , Leigh N. Fletcher
    • , Steve Miller
    • , Luke Moore
    • , James O’Donoghue
    • , John E. P. Connerney
    • , Takehiko Satoh
    •  & Rosie E. Johnson
  • Letter |

    The X-ray-induced photodesorption of water from astrophysical ices, intact, has been little studied. However, it could be a key process in producing the cold water vapour that is seen in these regions. Here, the yield of such a mechanism is experimentally quantified.

    • R. Dupuy
    • , M. Bertin
    • , G. Féraud
    • , M. Hassenfratz
    • , X. Michaut
    • , T. Putaud
    • , L. Philippe
    • , P. Jeseck
    • , M. Angelucci
    • , R. Cimino
    • , V. Baglin
    • , C. Romanzin
    •  & J.-H. Fillion
  • Letter |

    The strong gravitational lensing signal around the massive cluster PSZ2 G099.86+58.45 indicates environment matter density in notable excess of the cosmological mean and implies that enhancing mechanisms around high-mass halos can be very effective.

    • Mauro Sereno
    • , Carlo Giocoli
    • , Luca Izzo
    • , Federico Marulli
    • , Alfonso Veropalumbo
    • , Stefano Ettori
    • , Lauro Moscardini
    • , Giovanni Covone
    • , Antonio Ferragamo
    • , Rafael Barrena
    •  & Alina Streblyanska
  • Article |

    Reconstructing matter density from the velocities of local galaxies in a linear manner is standard practice. Averaging over the density fields of an ensemble of nonlinear simulations reveals a stronger galaxy ‘bias’ than in the linear regime, providing insights into the distribution of dark matter and the formation of galaxies.

    • Yehuda Hoffman
    • , Edoardo Carlesi
    • , Daniel Pomarède
    • , R. Brent Tully
    • , Hélène M. Courtois
    • , Stefan Gottlöber
    • , Noam I. Libeskind
    • , Jenny G. Sorce
    •  & Gustavo Yepes
  • 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
  • Letter |

    Late-time optical and near-infrared observations of the binary neutron star merger GW170817 are at odds with kilonova models but match a Gaussian-structured relativistic jet, which would have launched a high-luminosity short gamma-ray burst to an aligned observer.

    • J. D. Lyman
    • , G. P. Lamb
    • , A. J. Levan
    • , I. Mandel
    • , N. R. Tanvir
    • , S. Kobayashi
    • , B. Gompertz
    • , J. Hjorth
    • , A. S. Fruchter
    • , T. Kangas
    • , D. Steeghs
    • , I. A. Steele
    • , Z. Cano
    • , C. Copperwheat
    • , P. A. Evans
    • , J. P. U. Fynbo
    • , C. Gall
    • , M. Im
    • , L. Izzo
    • , P. Jakobsson
    • , B. Milvang-Jensen
    • , P. O’Brien
    • , J. P. Osborne
    • , E. Palazzi
    • , D. A. Perley
    • , E. Pian
    • , S. Rosswog
    • , A. Rowlinson
    • , S. Schulze
    • , E. R. Stanway
    • , P. Sutton
    • , C. C. Thöne
    • , A. de Ugarte Postigo
    • , D. J. Watson
    • , K. Wiersema
    •  & R. A. M. J. Wijers
  • Letter |

    All inner main-belt asteroids, and not just those belonging to a specific family as previously thought, originate from the splintering of a few large asteroids. The history of such precursors determines the compositional variety we observe in asteroids and meteorites.

    • Stanley F. Dermott
    • , Apostolos A. Christou
    • , Dan Li
    • , Thomas. J. J. Kehoe
    •  & J. Malcolm Robinson
  • Letter |

    Massive binary star Eta Carinae drives the strongest colliding wind shock in the solar neighbourhood. Using NuSTAR and XMM-Newton data, Eta Car has now been convincingly shown to accelerate non-thermal particles, contributing to the Galactic cosmic ray flux.

    • Kenji Hamaguchi
    • , Michael F. Corcoran
    • , Julian M. Pittard
    • , Neetika Sharma
    • , Hiromitsu Takahashi
    • , Christopher M. P. Russell
    • , Brian W. Grefenstette
    • , Daniel R. Wik
    • , Theodore R. Gull
    • , Noel D. Richardson
    • , Thomas I. Madura
    •  & Anthony F. J. Moffat
  • Letter |

    A method of atmospheric retrieval for exoplanets that uses supervised ‘random forest’ machine learning, less time-consuming than standard techniques, is presented. Tests on Hubble spectra of WASP-12b give results consistent with standard atmospheric retrievals.

    • Pablo Márquez-Neila
    • , Chloe Fisher
    • , Raphael Sznitman
    •  & Kevin Heng
  • Letter |

    The X-ray polarization properties of the black hole binary Cygnus X-1 in its hard state, combined with spectral and timing data, reveals that the accretion disk corona is either an extended structure or located far from the black hole.

    • M. Chauvin
    • , H.-G. Florén
    • , M. Friis
    • , M. Jackson
    • , T. Kamae
    • , J. Kataoka
    • , T. Kawano
    • , M. Kiss
    • , V. Mikhalev
    • , T. Mizuno
    • , N. Ohashi
    • , T. Stana
    • , H. Tajima
    • , H. Takahashi
    • , N. Uchida
    •  & M. Pearce
  • Review Article |

    General relativity underwent a conceptual transformation after World War II that can be used to understand the hitherto vaguely defined ‘renaissance of general relativity’, which led to the prediction and eventual discovery of gravitational waves.

    • Alexander Blum
    • , Roberto Lalli
    •  & Jürgen Renn
  • Letter |

    Evidence for the earliest phase of planet formation, dust grain growth, has been seen in the very young and massive circumstellar disk around low-mass protostar TMC1A. Such systems, still rich in gas, are responsible for the high-mass end of the exoplanet mass distribution.

    • Daniel Harsono
    • , Per Bjerkeli
    • , Matthijs H. D. van der Wiel
    • , Jon P. Ramsey
    • , Luke T. Maud
    • , Lars E. Kristensen
    •  & Jes K. Jørgensen
  • 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
  • Review Article |

    A review of the various techniques to obtain photometric redshifts, from template-fitting to machine learning and hybrid schemes, and a description of the latest results on extragalactic samples and how survey strategy choices impact redshift accuracy.

    • Mara Salvato
    • , Olivier Ilbert
    •  & Ben Hoyle
  • 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