Astronomy and planetary science

  • Article
    | Open Access

    By analysing Hubble Space Telescope/Cosmic Origins Spectrograph spectra, evidence is provided for the presence of a Magellanic Corona surrounding the Large Magellanic Cloud, as predicted given its high mass.

    • Dhanesh Krishnarao
    • , Andrew J. Fox
    •  & Nicolas Lehner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A ground-penetrating radar survey of Martian subsurface structure in a southern marginal area of Utopia Planitia constructed a detailed subsurface image profile showing a roughly 70-m-thick, multi-layered structure below regolith.

    • Chao Li
    • , Yikang Zheng
    •  & Fuyuan Wu
  • Article |

    Observations by the Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope on AstroSat reveal ten blue compact dwarf galaxies with excess far-ultraviolet emission in their outer region, indicating star formation in accreting disks.

    • Anshuman Borgohain
    • , Kanak Saha
    •  & Shyam N. Tandon
  • Article |

    Analysis of the pulse profile of a fast radio burst showed sub-second periodicity, providing evidence for a neutron-star origin of the event and favouring emission arising from the magnetosphere.

    • Bridget C. Andersen
    • , Kevin Bandura
    •  & Andrew Zwaniga
  • Article |

    Lyman-α absorption observations from the Las Campanas Observatory are used to find a population of ultraviolet-dim protoclusters that contain few galaxies compared with their analogues in cosmological simulations.

    • Andrew B. Newman
    • , Gwen C. Rudie
    •  & John S. Mulchaey
  • Review Article |

    The highlights of a wide range of studies using data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton) are reviewed.

    • Belinda J. Wilkes
    • , Wallace Tucker
    •  & Maria Santos-Lleo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    By evolving spatially resolved distributions of thermal and non-thermal electrons in a solar flare in a large coronal volume, it is shown that nearly all electrons experienced a prominent acceleration.

    • Gregory D. Fleishman
    • , Gelu M. Nita
    •  & Dale E. Gary
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The physics of dense matter extracted from neutron star collision data is demonstrated to be consistent with information obtained from heavy-ion collisions, and analyses incorporating both data sources as well as information from nuclear theory provide new constraints for neutron star matter.

    • Sabrina Huth
    • , Peter T. H. Pang
    •  & Chris Van Den Broeck
  • Article |

    Binarity and multiplicity in general strongly affect the properties of emerging stars, as well as the physical and chemical structures of protoplanetary disks and therefore potentially any emerging planetary systems.

    • Jes K. Jørgensen
    • , Rajika L. Kuruwita
    •  & Edwin A. Bergin
  • Article |

    Spectroscopy of a gravitationally lensed galaxy at a redshift of 2.7 with spatially resolved maps of two foreground damped Lyman α systems indicates a vast mass of neutral hydrogen gas, consistent with a star-forming region.

    • Rongmon Bordoloi
    • , John M. O’Meara
    •  & James D. Neill
  • Article |

    Novae are caused by runaway thermonuclear burning in the hydrogen-rich envelopes of accreting white dwarfs, which leads to a rapid expansion of the envelope and the ejection of most of its mass1,2. Theory has predicted the existence of a ‘fireball’ phase following directly on from the runaway fusion, which should be observable as a short, bright and soft X-ray flash before the nova becomes visible in the optical35. Here we report observations of a bright and soft X-ray flash associated with the classical Galactic nova YZ Reticuli 11 h before its 9 mag optical brightening. No X-ray source was detected 4 h before and after the event, constraining the duration of the flash to shorter than 8 h. In agreement with theoretical predictions4,68, the source’s spectral shape is consistent with a black-body of 3.27+0.11−0.33 × 105 K (28.2+0.9−2.8 eV), or a white dwarf atmosphere, radiating at the Eddington luminosity, with a photosphere that is only slightly larger than a typical white dwarf.

    • Ole König
    • , Jörn Wilms
    •  & Klaus Werner
  • Article |

    Dynamical simulations of the early Solar System show that the giant planets’ instability was triggered by the dispersal of the Sun’s gaseous disk, constrained by astronomical observations to be a few to ten million years after the birth of the Solar System.

    • Beibei Liu
    • , Sean N. Raymond
    •  & Seth A. Jacobson
  • Article |

    The identification and characterization of rapid bursts in three accreting white dwarfs have shown that magnetically confined thermonuclear runaways resembling type-I X-ray bursts may occur in the surface layers of white dwarf atmospheres.

    • S. Scaringi
    • , P. J. Groot
    •  & F. X. Timmes
  • Article |

    An unusual ultraviolet compact object associated with a dusty starburst has been observed at a redshift of about 7.2, with a luminosity that falls between that of quasars and galaxies, possibly in transition between the two. 

    • S. Fujimoto
    • , G. B. Brammer
    •  & P. A. Oesch
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using data gathered from the microphones of the Perseverance rover, the first characterization of the acoustic environment on Mars is presented, showing two distinct values for the speed of sound in CO2-dominated atmosphere.

    • S. Maurice
    • , B. Chide
    •  & P. Willis
  • Article |

    A massive star at a redshift of 6.2, corresponding to 900 million years after the Big Bang, is magnified greatly by lensing of the foreground galaxy cluster WH0137–08.

    • Brian Welch
    • , Dan Coe
    •  & Tom Broadhurst
  • Article |

    The accretion disk environments surrounding active galactic nuclei are potential locations where there is an excess of eccentric mergers of large black holes, which have different spin–orbit tilts compared with circular mergers.

    • J. Samsing
    • , I. Bartos
    •  & H. Tagawa
  • Article |

    The fast radio burst FRB 20200120E is shown to originate from a globular cluster in the galaxy M81, and may be a collapsed white dwarf or a merged compact binary star system.

    • F. Kirsten
    • , B. Marcote
    •  & W. Vlemmings
  • Article |

    Analysis of archival low-frequency radio data from the Murchison Widefield Array reveals a periodic transient with an unusual periodicity of 18.18 min, the source of which is localized to our Galaxy and could be an ultra-long-period magnetar.

    • N. Hurley-Walker
    • , X. Zhang
    •  & T. J. Galvin
  • Article |

    Three-dimensional analysis of the solar neighbourhood shows that nearly all star-forming regions near the Sun lie on the surface of the Local Bubble, which was inflated by supernovae about 14 million years ago.

    • Catherine Zucker
    • , Alyssa A. Goodman
    •  & Cameren Swiggum
  • Article |

    Two very-high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (at 2,132 Hz and 4,250 Hz) are detected within the initial hard spike of a magnetar giant flare originating from the galaxy NGC 253, and detailed temporal and spectral analyses are performed.

    • A. J. Castro-Tirado
    • , N. Østgaard
    •  & S. Yang
  • Article |

    A modelling study describing the formation of the polygonal surface structures in Sputnik Planitia on Pluto shows that convection driven by ice sublimation can generate planetary-scale surface patterns.

    • Adrien Morison
    • , Stéphane Labrosse
    •  & Gaël Choblet
  • Article |

    A direct imaging study demonstrates the existence of a giant planet in a wide orbit around the high-mass b Centauri binary system, and uses measurements of the orbital properties to discuss its formation mechanism.

    • Markus Janson
    • , Raffaele Gratton
    •  & Joseph C. Carson