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The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
To assess the diagnostic role of mean platelet volume in tonsillitis with and without peritonsillar abscess.
Mean platelet volume and other laboratory data were retrospectively investigated.
Mean platelet volume was significantly lower in the tonsillitis group (7.8 per cent ± 0.7 per cent) than in the control group (8.7 per cent ± 0.6 per cent; p < 0.0001), and it was significantly lower in the abscess group (7.5 per cent ± 0.6 per cent) than in the no abscess group (8.0 per cent ± 0.7 per cent; p = 0.0277). White blood cell counts and C-reactive protein levels were not significantly different between patients with an abscess and those without. The mean platelet volume cut-off values for the diagnosis of tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess were 7.95 fl and 7.75 fl, respectively.
Our results suggest that a decreased mean platelet volume is associated with the development and severity of tonsillitis. This finding provides useful diagnostic information for physicians treating patients with tonsillitis.
We have made aperture synthesis observations of 12CO(J=1−0) emission IRAS 21282+5050, CRL 618 and M 1–7 using the Nobeyama Millimeter Array (NMA). We observed with 3 or 2 configurations and obtained an angular resolution of 3″.2 × 3.1, 3″.6 × 3″.5 and 4″.3 × 3″.8.
We present year-scale morphological variations of the Crab Nebula revealed by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Observations have been performed about every 1.7 years over the three years from launch. The variations are clearly recognized at two sites: the torus and the southern jet. The torus, which had been steadily expanding until 1.7 years ago, now appears to have shrunk in the latest observation. Additionally, the circular structures seen to the northeast of the torus have decayed into several arcs. On the other hand, the southern jet shows the growth of its overall kinked-structure. We discuss the nature of these variations in terms of the pulsar wind nebula mechanism.
Since the discovery of fading X-rays from Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) with BeppoSAX (Piro et al. 1997, Costa et al. 1997), world-wide follow-up observations in optical band have achieved the fruitful results. The case of GRB 970228, there was an optical transient, coincides with the BeppoSAX position and faded (Paradijs et al. 1997, Sahu et al. 1997). These optical observations also confirmed the extended component, which was associated with the optical transient. The new transient are fading with a power-law function in time and the later observation of HST confirmed the extended emission is stable (Fruchter et al. 1997). This extended object seems to be a distant galaxy and strongly suggests to be the host.
X-ray images of rotation-powered pulsars were examined using ASCA Gas Imaging Spectrometer (GIS). The data sets are taken from those available in the ASCA public archive in the performance verification (PV) phase and the guest-observing (GO) phase 1. We detected diffuse X-ray sources in the vicinity of nine pulsars including five new detections. There are large variety in their morphology and spatial size. The high probability of finding such diffuse sources around pulsars suggests that they exist universally for all the active pulsars, and that they are powered by the pulsars. We propose that the pulsar-powered nebula is a good probe to measure the otherwise invisible energy flux dissipating from a pulsar into the surrounding space.
NGC 3079 has very luminous water megamaser from the nucleus, the peak of the spectrum being blueshifted by 180 km s−1 from the systemic velocity of the galaxy (Vsys = 1131 km s−1) (Henkel et al. 1984, Haschick & Baan 1985). Core-jet like continuum structure is also found in the nuclear region (Irwin & Seaquist 1988). No velocity drift for main features of water maser (VLSR = 941–975 km s−1) has been shown (Nakai et al. 1995). However, the drift was recently detected for the maser of 1190 km s−1 (Nakai 1997). HI and OH absorptions are detected in the nucleus (Haschick & Baan 1985, Irwin & Seaquist 1991). Thus this galaxy is very unique object to investigate water masers, continuum structure and absorption features all together with VLBI.
We made a search of quiescent X-ray counterparts of two Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs), GRB930131 and GRB940217. These GRBs were detected with BATSE, EGRET, COMPTEL on board CGRO together with the GRB detector on Ulysses spacecraft, then they were localized in small error regions. These observations showed that the bursts were remarkably bright accompanying delayed high energy gamma-rays. ASCA observations have found a single X-ray source for each GRB on the possible location determined with the above instruments.
We conducted an observation of weak HI and OH absorption features in the parsec-scale nuclear region of NGC 3079 using a global VLBI network; the VLBA, the VLA and the Green Bank 43-m telescope of NRAO. One mas corresponds to 0.076 pc in NGC 3079.
The Sun’s activity has been evolving in the ascending phase of Solar Cycle 23 since 1996. Similarly, the research on solar activity is also in the ascending phase of a new active period. Numerous new results have been obtained from a large amount of space and ground observations covering a wide spectral range. In particular, observations with YOHKOH, SOHO, and TRACE have revealed a multitude of phenomena and processes in the solar atmosphere which provide us a new picture of the Sun.
In order to examine the structure and kinematics of the molecular gas around planetary nebulae, we have made aperture synthesis observations of I2CO(J=1-0) emission in three planetary nebulae, IRAS 21282+5050, CRL 618 and M 1-7, using Nobeyama Millimeter Array.