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Volume 6 Issue 1, January 2022

Inflows and outflows in Centaurus A

Our nearest neighbouring radio galaxy, Centaurus A, observed in full at 185 MHz by the Murchison Widefield Array, has giant radio lobes extending 8 degrees across the sky — powered by the supermassive black hole located close to the image centre. The black hole is both feeding on infalling gas and ejecting matter and energy far out into space.

See McKinley et al.

Image: Benjamin McKinley (Curtin University) and Connor Matherne (Louisiana State University). Cover Design: Bethany Vukomanovic.


  • Nature Astronomy turned five this month. We share some of our most popular covers and impactful papers, and look forward to more discoveries in 2022.



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Comment & Opinion

  • The combination of hydrogen and carbon dioxide in the ocean of Enceladus represents chemical energy that could support life — but should we expect to see any energy ‘left on the table’ if anything alive is actually there to use it?

    • Tori M. Hoehler
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Books & Arts

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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • A simulated hybrid emission model to mimic the morphology of the jet launching region of M87 reproduces the observed shape of the innermost jet and favours a high spin of the central black hole.

    • Bidisha Bandyopadhyay
    News & Views
  • A new model for the origin of the Solar System proposes planet building blocks formed fast from material that was transported outwards to cooler regions. It claims to be consistent with the properties of ancient meteorites.

    • Chris Ormel
    News & Views
  • The limits on late accretion and its associated water delivery to potential habitable planets are derived by examining the dynamical stability of the resonance-bound TRAPPIST-1 system.

    • Masahiro Ogihara
    News & Views
  • Unlocking the internal secrets of a β Cephei star with a state-of-the-art polarimeter may open up a greater understanding of whether a massive star eventually explodes in a supernova or collapses directly to a black hole.

    • Dietrich Baade
    News & Views
  • A multi-disciplinary team recently came together online to discuss the application of sonification in astronomy, focusing on the effective use of sound for scientific discovery and for improving accessibility to astronomy research and education.

    • Chris Harrison
    • Anita Zanella
    • Nicolas Misdariis
    Meeting Report
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Research Briefings

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  • The Zhurong rover has explored its landing site in Utopia Planitia, Mars, and is travelling south towards the highland–lowland boundary, focusing initially on the composition and physical properties of the rocks along the way.

    • Jianjun Liu
    • Chunlai Li
    • Hongbo Zhang
    Letter Open Access
  • An evolutionary model of the solar protoplanetary disk that includes the decrease of its viscosity with time and the accretion of gas from the interstellar medium shows that planetesimals formed simultaneously in two locations: at the water snowline (~5 au) and at the silicate sublimation line (~1 au), explaining the observed isotopic dichotomy of iron meteorites.

    • A. Morbidelli
    • K. Baillié
    • T. Kleine
  • The resonant chain of the TRAPPIST-1 planets is dynamically fragile, as small perturbations during its lifetime would have disrupted it. N-body simulations show that the system could not have interacted with more than 0.05 Earth masses of material after its formation. Thus, any water in the planets must come from the planets’ original accretion.

    • Sean N. Raymond
    • Andre Izidoro
    • Simon L. Grimm
  • From its optical light curve, the white dwarf in the binary system TW Pictoris appears to be switching between two different intensities of accretion on timescales of hours. This behaviour is reminiscent of that seen in transitional millisecond pulsars, where the switching occurs several times a minute.

    • S. Scaringi
    • D. de Martino
    • A. Papitto
  • The authors report time-series interferometric observations of a microlensing event from the ground. The lens images rotate during the series, giving the direction of motion of the lens and a very accurate Einstein ring radius. The lens is a 1.1-solar mass object at a distance of 5–6 kpc.

    • Arnaud Cassan
    • Clément Ranc
    • Olivier Wertz
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Mission Control

  • The Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S), which will focus on solar eruptions and their origins, is scheduled for launch in late 2022, explain Chief Scientist Weiqun Gan and assistants Li Feng and Yang Su.

    • W. Q. Gan
    • L. Feng
    • Y. Su
    Mission Control
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Amendments & Corrections

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