AA55-FrontMatter ARI 9 August 2017 10:14 As editors of the Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, we are always pleased with the ﬁnal content of our volumes, but we take special joy in this year’s volume because it captures so perfectly the triple essence of excellent astronomy—discovery, explanation, and uncovering previously unsuspected connections in the fabric of the Universe. As to discoveries, this volume has plenty. Kaaret et al. introduce us to a new accretion mode in ultraluminos X-ray sources, potentially signaling the presence of intermediate- mass black holes with implications for the formation of supermassive nuclear black holes. Further on the black hole theme, Alexander walks us through the complex array of physical processes that can take place near black holes, with an emphasis on star–black hole interactions. The predicted signatures are now being recognized. Kaspi & Beloborodov review the properties of magnetars. The population of such objects has now grown to about 30, which is large enough to permit our ﬁrst solid look at the nature of these objects, and the resulting picture strains credulity—how can such bizarre objects exist? A completely different look at magnetic ﬁeld intensity is provided in Han’s review of interstellar and intergalactic
Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics – Annual Reviews
Published: Aug 18, 2017
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