Transient astrophysical phenomena

Transients refer to astronomical phenomena with durations of fractions of a second to weeks or years. Typically they are extreme, short-lived events associated with the total or partial destruction of an astrophysical object.  The events can generate emission at all or specific wavelengths both in electromagnetic radiation and gravitational waves.  They can appear to be extremely bright and can be observed over cosmological distances.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Low-frequency quasiperiodic oscillations in X-ray data are thought to trace the accretion flow in X-ray binaries. Here, the detection of 200 keV oscillations probes the innermost regions of MAXI J1820+070, revealing the precession of a small-scale jet.

    • Xiang Ma
    • , Lian Tao
    • , Shuang-Nan Zhang
    • , Liang Zhang
    • , Qing-Cui Bu
    • , Ming-Yu Ge
    • , Yu-Peng Chen
    • , Jin-Lu Qu
    • , Shu Zhang
    • , Fang-Jun Lu
    • , Li-Ming Song
    • , Yi-Jung Yang
    • , Feng Yuan
    • , Ce Cai
    • , Xue-Lei Cao
    • , Zhi Chang
    • , Gang Chen
    • , Li Chen
    • , Tian-Xiang Chen
    • , Yi-Bao Chen
    • , Yong Chen
    • , Wei Cui
    • , Wei-Wei Cui
    • , Jing-Kang Deng
    • , Yong-Wei Dong
    • , Yuan-Yuan Du
    • , Min-Xue Fu
    • , Guan-Hua Gao
    • , He Gao
    • , Min Gao
    • , Yu-Dong Gu
    • , Ju Guan
    • , Cheng-Cheng Guo
    • , Da-Wei Han
    • , Yue Huang
    • , Jia Huo
    • , Long Ji
    • , Shu-Mei Jia
    • , Lu-Hua Jiang
    • , Wei-Chun Jiang
    • , Jing Jin
    • , Yong-Jie Jin
    • , Ling-Da Kong
    • , Bing Li
    • , Cheng-Kui Li
    • , Gang Li
    • , Mao-Shun Li
    • , Ti-Pei Li
    • , Wei Li
    • , Xian Li
    • , Xiao-Bo Li
    • , Xu-Fang Li
    • , Yan-Guo Li
    • , Zheng-Wei Li
    • , Xiao-Hua Liang
    • , Jin-Yuan Liao
    • , Bai-Sheng Liu
    • , Cong-Zhan Liu
    • , Guo-Qing Liu
    • , Hong-Wei Liu
    • , Xiao-Jing Liu
    • , Yi-Nong Liu
    • , Bo Lu
    • , Xue-Feng Lu
    • , Qi Luo
    • , Tao Luo
    • , Bin Meng
    • , Yi Nang
    • , Jian-Yin Nie
    • , Ge Ou
    • , Na Sai
    • , Ren-Cheng Shang
    • , Xin-Ying Song
    • , Liang Sun
    • , Ying Tan
    • , Yuo-Li Tuo
    • , Chen Wang
    • , Guo-Feng Wang
    • , Juan Wang
    • , Ling-Jun Wang
    • , Wen-Shuai Wang
    • , Yu-Sa Wang
    • , Xiang-Yang Wen
    • , Bai-Yang Wu
    • , Bo-Bing Wu
    • , Mei Wu
    • , Guang-Cheng Xiao
    • , Shuo Xiao
    • , Fu-Guo Xie
    • , Shao-Lin Xiong
    • , He Xu
    • , Yu-Peng Xu
    • , Jia-Wei Yang
    • , Sheng Yang
    • , Yan-Ji Yang
    • , Qi-Bin Yi
    • , Qian-Qing Yin
    • , Yuan You
    • , Ai-Mei Zhang
    • , Cheng-Mo Zhang
    • , Fan Zhang
    • , Hong-Mei Zhang
    • , Juan Zhang
    • , Tong Zhang
    • , Wan-Chang Zhang
    • , Wei Zhang
    • , Wen-Zhao Zhang
    • , Yi Zhang
    • , Yi-Fei Zhang
    • , Yong-Jie Zhang
    • , Yue Zhang
    • , Zhao Zhang
    • , Zhi Zhang
    • , Zi-Liang Zhang
    • , Hai-Sheng Zhao
    • , Xiao-Fan Zhao
    • , Shi-Jie Zheng
    • , Deng-Ke Zhou
    • , Jian-Feng Zhou
    • , Yu-Xuan Zhu
    • , Yue Zhu
    •  & Ren-Lin Zhuang
  • Research |

    Conditions in an accretion burst around a high-mass young stellar object (HMYSO) were sufficient to pump two species previously not known to maser. HDO and HNCO were found to trace spiral-arm features in the accretion flow onto the HMYSO.

    • Xi Chen
    • , Andrej M. Sobolev
    • , Zhi-Yuan Ren
    • , Sergey Parfenov
    • , Shari L. Breen
    • , Simon P. Ellingsen
    • , Zhi-Qiang Shen
    • , Bin Li
    • , Gordon C. MacLeod
    • , Willem Baan
    • , Crystal Brogan
    • , Tomoya Hirota
    • , Todd R. Hunter
    • , Hendrik Linz
    • , Karl Menten
    • , Koichiro Sugiyama
    • , Bringfried Stecklum
    • , Yan Gong
    •  & Xingwu Zheng
  • Research |

    A periodicity of roughly 16 days is detected for the fast radio burst 180916.J0158+65, suggesting that the burst arises from a periodically modulated mechanism instead of a cataclysmic or sporadic process.

    • M. Amiri
    • , B. C. Andersen
    • , K. M. Bandura
    • , M. Bhardwaj
    • , P. J. Boyle
    • , C. Brar
    • , P. Chawla
    • , T. Chen
    • , J. F. Cliche
    • , D. Cubranic
    • , M. Deng
    • , N. T. Denman
    • , M. Dobbs
    • , F. Q. Dong
    • , M. Fandino
    • , E. Fonseca
    • , B. M. Gaensler
    • , U. Giri
    • , D. C. Good
    • , M. Halpern
    • , J. W. T. Hessels
    • , A. S. Hill
    • , C. Höfer
    • , A. Josephy
    • , J. W. Kania
    • , R. Karuppusamy
    • , V. M. Kaspi
    • , A. Keimpema
    • , F. Kirsten
    • , T. L. Landecker
    • , D. A. Lang
    • , C. Leung
    • , D. Z. Li
    • , H.-H. Lin
    • , B. Marcote
    • , K. W. Masui
    • , R. Mckinven
    • , J. Mena-Parra
    • , M. Merryfield
    • , D. Michilli
    • , N. Milutinovic
    • , A. Mirhosseini
    • , A. Naidu
    • , L. B. Newburgh
    • , C. Ng
    • , K. Nimmo
    • , Z. Paragi
    • , C. Patel
    • , U.-L. Pen
    • , T. Pinsonneault-Marotte
    • , Z. Pleunis
    • , M. Rafiei-Ravandi
    • , M. Rahman
    • , S. M. Ransom
    • , A. Renard
    • , P. Sanghavi
    • , P. Scholz
    • , J. R. Shaw
    • , K. Shin
    • , S. R. Siegel
    • , S. Singh
    • , R. J. Smegal
    • , K. M. Smith
    • , I. H. Stairs
    • , S. P. Tendulkar
    • , I. Tretyakov
    • , K. Vanderlinde
    • , H. Wang
    • , X. Wang
    • , D. Wulf
    • , P. Yadav
    •  & A. V. Zwaniga
    Nature 582, 351-355
  • Research |

    Two sources of variability are reported in extreme horizontal branch (EHB) stars found in globular clusters, both related to the action of weak magnetic fields: large surface spots and very energetic flares. EHB stars in clusters can thus be linked to EHB field stars, and beyond, to other stars with radiative envelopes.

    • Y. Momany
    • , S. Zaggia
    • , M. Montalto
    • , D. Jones
    • , H. M. J. Boffin
    • , S. Cassisi
    • , C. Moni Bidin
    • , M. Gullieuszik
    • , I. Saviane
    • , L. Monaco
    • , E. Mason
    • , L. Girardi
    • , V. D’Orazi
    • , G. Piotto
    • , A. P. Milone
    • , H. Lala
    • , P. B. Stetson
    •  & Y. Beletsky
  • Research |

    The baryon density determined along the lines of sight to localized fast radio bursts is consistent with that determined from the cosmic microwave background and required by Big Bang nucleosynthesis.

    • J.-P. Macquart
    • , J. X. Prochaska
    • , M. McQuinn
    • , K. W. Bannister
    • , S. Bhandari
    • , C. K. Day
    • , A. T. Deller
    • , R. D. Ekers
    • , C. W. James
    • , L. Marnoch
    • , S. Osłowski
    • , C. Phillips
    • , S. D. Ryder
    • , D. R. Scott
    • , R. M. Shannon
    •  & N. Tejos
    Nature 581, 391-395

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    The annual Fast Radio Burst conference was held as an entirely virtual event on 6–9 July inclusive, with talks spread over three time zones and an online communication channel for discussions.

    • Evan F. Keane
    Nature Astronomy 4, 841-842
  • Editorial |

    The 5 years since the first detection of gravitational waves have witnessed the rise of multi-messenger astronomy, a field that expands our understanding of astrophysical processes and reshapes the way science is done.

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Alec Habig and Kate Scholberg describe the Supernova Early Warning System (SNEWS), an international network of neutrino detectors aimed to alert the astronomical community if supernova neutrinos are detected.

    • Alec Habig
    •  & Kate Scholberg