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Volume 5 Issue 1, January 2021

Bright intruders

The Hayabusa2 spacecraft has observed bright boulders on the surface of carbonaceous asteroid Ryugu. These boulders belong to a different body than Ryugu’s parent body and shed light on Ryugu’s collisional history. Similar bright boulders have been observed on asteroid Bennu by OSIRIS-REx.

See Tatsumi et al.

Image: JAXA/UTokyo/Kochi U/Rikkyo U/Nagoya U/Chiba Inst Tech/Meiji U/U Aizu/AIST Cover Design: Bethany Vukomanovic.

Editorial

  • As we collectively welcome the new year, we retrace the 2020 milestones in sample return and look at a few of the major upcoming events in 2021. There are many reasons for astronomers to be optimistic.

    Editorial

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Research

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News & Views

  • The Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx teams have unexpectedly found bright boulders on their respective dark asteroids, Ryugu and Bennu, which provide solid clues about the composition and origin of impacting bodies in their formation history.

    • M. Cristina De Sanctis

    Collection:

    News & Views
  • The discovery of giant X-ray bubbles above and below the centre of the Milky Way confirms that the central supermassive black hole was once more than 100 million times brighter than its current state.

    • Jun Kataoka
    News & Views
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Reviews

  • This Review Article summarizes our current understanding of ionized outflows in active galactic nuclei, observed in absorption in the ultraviolet and X-ray wavelengths, including the most relevant observations as well as their origin and acceleration mechanisms.

    • Sibasish Laha
    • Christopher S. Reynolds
    • Daniel Proga
    Review Article
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Research

  • Three different layers can be distinguished in the first 500 metres of depth beneath the South Pole–Aitken basin on the Moon: a first layer made up by regolith and ejecta material from different craters, followed by a middle unit of mare basalts and finally a >200-m-thick layer of ejecta from the Leibnitz crater.

    • Jinhai Zhang
    • Bin Zhou
    • Ziyuan Ouyang
    Letter
  • Six bright boulders of exotic material on near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu stand out from the average asteroidal surface. This unexpected record of impactors offers clues to the formation history of Bennu.

    • D. N. DellaGiustina
    • H. H. Kaplan
    • D. S. Lauretta

    Collection:

    Letter
  • Multi-band high-resolution observations reveal very fast and bursty nanojets. These nanojets are a consequence of the slingshot effect from magnetically tensed, curved magnetic field lines reconnecting at small angles, resulting in coronal heating.

    • Patrick Antolin
    • Paolo Pagano
    • Fabio Reale
    Article
  • MARSIS provides enhanced coverage of the south polar region where there have been indications of a subglacial lake. These new data confirm the presence of a lake and suggest the existence of a complex hydrologic system including various smaller liquid bodies, probably composed of salty brines.

    • Sebastian Emanuel Lauro
    • Elena Pettinelli
    • Roberto Orosei
    Article
  • Multi-decade observations of Jupiter’s stratospheric temperatures show that their quasiperiodic oscillation locked into a new period after a major atmospheric perturbation in 1992, from 5.7 years to 3.9 years. This is different from Earth (and presumably from Saturn), where the period returned to its original value after substantial atmospheric disruptions.

    • Arrate Antuñano
    • Richard G. Cosentino
    • Glenn S. Orton
    Article
  • Laboratory spectra of dust/ice aggregates are comparable to those observed in astrophysical environments, questioning the traditional onion-like layered ice model. According to observational spectra, such icy mixtures could harbour water ice in the diffuse interstellar medium, as well as in low-temperature circumstellar environments.

    • Alexey Potapov
    • Jeroen Bouwman
    • Thomas Henning
    Article
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Amendments & Corrections

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Mission Control

  • HORuS, a new high-resolution spectrograph for the Gran Telescopio Canarias, will facilitate an expanded range of optical and near-infrared studies, explains Instrument Scientist Carlos Allende Prieto.

    • Carlos Allende Prieto
    Mission Control
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