Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Volume 5 Issue 4, April 2021

The long and the short of turbulence

The formation of stars through the collapse of molecular clouds is strongly influenced by turbulence. New high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations reveal the turbulent properties of the interstellar medium from subsonic to supersonic scales, in the process providing quantitative constraints for models of turbulent star formation.

See Federrath et al.

Image: Christoph Federrath, Australian National University Cover Design: Bethany Vukomanovic.


  • The rapidly developing field of fast radio bursts (FRBs) took another leap forward in understanding when an FRB was associated with a magnetar in our Galaxy, identifying a specific source for the first time.



Top of page ⤴


Top of page ⤴

Books & Arts

Top of page ⤴

Research Highlights

Top of page ⤴

News & Views

  • The largest ever simulation of astrophysical turbulence substantially improves our understanding of how energy injection on large interstellar scales governs how stars form on small scales.

    • Christopher F. McKee
    • James M. Stone
    News & Views
Top of page ⤴


  • Saturn crossed the orbital resonance that tilted it to its present obliquity of 26.7° only about 1 billion years ago, affected by the fast migration of Titan. The impact of satellite migration on the evolution of giant planet obliquities may be a general phenomenon that could also be relevant for Jupiter and exoplanetary systems.

    • Melaine Saillenfest
    • Giacomo Lari
    • Gwenaël Boué
  • The Almahata Sitta 202 meteorite fragment hosts evidence of aqueous alteration at intermediate pressures and temperatures, indicative of a hitherto unknown Ceres-sized parent body. Such intermediate conditions, also seen in the Allende meteorite, might have been more common than our biased meteorite collection indicates.

    • V. E. Hamilton
    • C. A. Goodrich
    • M. H. Shaddad
  • Studies of iron meteorites show that volatile nitrogen originated in three isotopically distinct reservoirs in the early Solar System: the nebular gas, sampled by the Sun and Jupiter, and two others related to organic molecules and dust in the inner and outer Solar System, from which growing protoplanets incorporated nitrogen.

    • Damanveer S. Grewal
    • Rajdeep Dasgupta
    • Bernard Marty
  • A high-resolution simulation of interstellar turbulence determines the position and width of the transition from supersonic to subsonic turbulence, providing quantitative input for models of filament structure and star formation in molecular clouds.

    • Christoph Federrath
    • Ralf S. Klessen
    • James R. Beattie
  • In April 2020, the Konus-Wind instrument registered two X-ray bursts temporally coincident with two radio bursts from the Galactic magnetar SGR 1935+2154. The unusual spectral hardness of the X-ray bursts may be an indicator of fast-radio-burst-like radio emission from magnetars.

    • A. Ridnaia
    • D. Svinkin
    • T. L. Cline
  • Gigaelectronvolt emission from a magnetar giant flare is discovered by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, between 19 s and 284 s after the initial detection of a signal in the megaelectronvolt energy band, potentially generated by an ultra-relativistic outflow far from the stellar magnetosphere.

    • M. Ajello
    • W. B. Atwood
    • G. Zaharijas
  • Stars in the Tucana II ultrafaint dwarf galaxy observed out to nine half-light radii reveal the presence of an extended dark matter halo with a total mass of >107 solar masses, consistent with a generalized Navarro–Frenk–White density profile and suggestive of past strong bursty feedback or an early galactic merger.

    • Anirudh Chiti
    • Anna Frebel
    • John E. Norris


  • In April 2020, the AGILE satellite registered an X-ray burst temporally coincident with a radio burst from the Galactic magnetar SGR 1935+2154. As seen in hard X-rays, the burst was cut off above 80 keV and had an isotropically emitted energy of about 1040 erg.

    • M. Tavani
    • C. Casentini
    • F. D’Amico
  • Twenty-four X-ray bursts from a Galactic magnetar simultaneously observed with NICER and Fermi permit a direct comparison to a later X-ray burst that was coincident with a fast radio burst (FRB). The FRB-related burst is spectrally distinct, pointing to an unusual point of emission.

    • G. Younes
    • M. G. Baring
    • Z. Wadiasingh
  • Two further radio bursts associated with magnetar SGR 1935+2154 have been detected with a Westerbork 25 m dish, bringing the total to four. These observations demonstrate that SGR 1935+2154, a putative Galactic analogue of a fast radio burst source, can emit bursts across seven orders of magnitude in energy.

    • F. Kirsten
    • M. P. Snelders
    • J. Yang
Top of page ⤴

Amendments & Corrections

Top of page ⤴


Quick links