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Volume 6 Issue 12, December 2022

JWST puts a shine on the Southern Ring

JWST Early Release Observations with the NIRCam and MIRI instruments reveal that the Southern Ring Nebula is not just the product of a binary star system, as previously thought, but likely a creation that involved a quadruple (if not larger) star system. Also evident, in crisp detail, is a flocculent ring and extended halo composed of molecular hydrogen.

See De Marco et al.

Image: NASA, ESA, CSA, J. DePasquale (STScI). Cover design: Bethany Vukomanovic.


  • We are still in the early days of open science, with implementation lagging ideation. But the benefits are clear and progress is picking up.



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Comment & Opinion

  • At a Lorentz Center workshop, Chiara Caprini, Antoine Petiteau and Elena Maria Rossi gave a series of presentations about the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission, the instrument, and the associated science in cosmology and astrophysics.

    • Jean-Baptiste Bayle
    • Béatrice Bonga
    • Lijing Shao
  • A vital part of future planetary science missions will be the development of more inclusive teams. As NASA’s InSight mission comes to its end on Mars, we share some strategies that have helped us to work toward this goal.

    • B. Fernando
    • I. J. Daubar
    • S. Stanley
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Books & Arts

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News & Views

  • Preliminary observations from the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer of a well-studied X-ray pulsar are discordant with theoretical expectations, prompting a reassessment of our understanding of the accretion process.

    • Hua Feng
    News & Views
  • New analyses of data from NASA’s InSight mission show that the majority of marsquakes arise from warm rocks near a set of young volcanic fissures. This ongoing seismicity reveals that this region was recently volcanically active and may remain so today.

    • Jeffrey C. Andrews-Hanna
    News & Views
  • A fast-rising and rapidly evolving tidal disruption event in a dwarf galaxy could indicate the presence of an intermediate-mass black hole, and such nuclear transients in general could provide an opportunity to study these reclusive compact objects.

    • Suvi Gezari
    News & Views
  • The theme of tensions in cosmology has become increasingly important in the cosmological community, proving capable of attracting new generations of scientists who want to be there and contribute to the next paradigm shift.

    • Eleonora Di Valentino
    • Emmanuel Saridakis
    • Adam Riess
    Meeting Report
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  • The marsquakes dataset acquired by InSight shows that the Cerberus Fossae graben system is still actively opening, accounting for almost half of Mars’s seismic moment detected so far. This activity indicates the presence of a warm source located at 40 km depth, possibly due to local magmatic processes.

    • Simon C. Stähler
    • Anna Mittelholz
    • W. Bruce Banerdt
  • The residual magnetic field detected in some carbonaceous chondrite meteorites is a remanent of the primordial field of the early solar nebula, preserved via aqueous alteration processes that happened in large planetesimals formed around 4 Myr after CAI formation and just before the dissipation of the solar nebula.

    • Samuel W. Courville
    • Joseph G. O’Rourke
    • Linda T. Elkins-Tanton
  • Energetic neutral atom fluxes measured at 1 au by the IBEX spacecraft between 2014 and 2019 are used as proxy to map the heliosphere at high resolution. Persistent ripples that corrugate the heliospheric boundary and induce variations by up to ~10 au are observed, with marked north–south asymmetry.

    • Eric J. Zirnstein
    • Bishwas L. Shrestha
    • Paweł Swaczyna
    Article Open Access
  • X-ray polarimetry observations with the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer constrain the accretion geometry in an X-ray pulsar and provide evidence for a misalignment of the spin, magnetic and orbital axes in Her X-1.

    • Victor Doroshenko
    • Juri Poutanen
    • Fei Xie
  • Using Gaia and XMM-Newton to constrain the distance to and properties of the central compact object of a supernova remnant, an extremely light (\(0.7{7}_{-0.17}^{+0.20}\) solar masses) neutron star has been found. This mass is twice as light as normally found for these kinds of object, and places limits on the allowed equations of state of neutron star matter.

    • Victor Doroshenko
    • Valery Suleimanov
    • Andrea Santangelo
  • Multiple gas disks, both misaligned with the stellar disk, are reported in two galaxies, providing evidence for multiple gas acquisition events, challenging the traditional picture of galaxy accretion and suggesting a new trigger mechanism for star formation.

    • Xiao Cao
    • Yan-Mei Chen
    • Richard R. Lane
  • A simultaneous reconstruction of three functions describing the expansion of the Universe and gravitational effects on light and matter shows the extent to which modified gravity can address tensions between the standard cosmological model and a large body of observations.

    • Levon Pogosian
    • Marco Raveri
    • Alex Zucca
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Mission Control

  • The GHOST spectrograph will shortly be available on the Gemini South Telescope for studies of stellar and galactic abundances and, in time, exoplanets.

    • Alan W. McConnachie
    • Christian R. Hayes
    • Steven Margheim
    Mission Control
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Amendments & Corrections

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