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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.
Surface radiocarbon (Δ14C) in the North Pacific has been monitored using a commercial volunteer observation ship since the early 2000s. Here we report the temporal and spatial variations in Δ14C in the summer surface water when the surface ocean is vertically stratified over a 13-yr period, 2004–2016. The long-term Δ14C decreasing trend after the late 1970s in the subtropical region has continued to the present and the rate of decrease of the Kuroshio and Kuroshio Extension, North Pacific and California current areas is calculated to be –3.3, –5.2 and –3.3 ‰/yr, respectively. After 2012 the Δ14C of the Kuroshio and Kuroshio Extension area, however, has remained at an approximately constant value of around 50‰. The result may indicate that subtropical surface Δ14C in the western North Pacific has reached an equilibrium with atmospheric Δ14CO2. The Δ14C in the subarctic region is markedly lower than values in the subtropical region and it seems that the decreasing tendency of surface Δ14C has changed to an increasing tendency after 2010. The results may indicate that bomb-produced 14C, which has accumulated below the mixed layer in the past few decades, has been entrained into the surface layer by deep convection.
This study focused on parotid gland tumours diagnosed as benign by fine-needle aspiration cytology and investigated the necessity of frozen section biopsy.
There were 104 cases of parotid gland tumour where fine-needle aspiration cytology was benign and frozen section biopsy was subsequently performed, between April 2006 and June 2016. In this retrospective study, the results of frozen section biopsy were analysed and compared with the final histological diagnosis.
Among the 104 cases diagnosed as benign by fine-needle aspiration cytology, 102 cases and 2 cases were diagnosed as benign and malignant, respectively, by frozen section biopsy. The final histological diagnoses showed that 98 cases were benign and 6 cases were malignant. The sensitivity and specificity values of frozen section biopsy in detecting malignant tumours were 33 per cent and 100 per cent, respectively.
The necessity of frozen section biopsy in cases with benign fine-needle aspiration cytology may be low in parotid gland surgery.
The purpose of this study was to clarify the association between hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) epidemics and meteorological conditions. We used HFMD surveillance data of all 47 prefectures in Japan from January 2000 to December 2015. Spectral analysis was performed using the maximum entropy method (MEM) for temperature-, relative humidity-, and total rainfall-dependent incidence data. Using MEM-estimated periods, long-term oscillatory trends were calculated using the least squares fitting (LSF) method. The temperature and relative humidity thresholds of HFMD data were estimated from the LSF curves. The average temperature data indicated a lower threshold at 12 °C and a higher threshold at 30 °C for risk of HFMD infection. Maximum and minimum temperature data indicated a lower threshold at 6 °C and a higher threshold at 35 °C, suggesting a need for HFMD control measures at temperatures between 6 and 35 °C. Based on our findings, we recommend the use of maximum and minimum temperatures rather than the average temperature, to estimate the temperature threshold of HFMD infections. The results obtained might aid in the prediction of epidemics and preparation for the effect of climatic changes on HFMD epidemiology.
An infrared complex has been found in the radio arc region near the Galactic center. The complex consists of three sources that are close (< 10″) to each other, and are almost identical in every point of their characteristics; having the same energy spectrum and the same polarization. The observed polarizations are large; 5% at the K-band, and are parallel to the galactic plane. Both behaviors are compatible to those of the galactic center sources, suggesting that the sources are located near the galactic center. The energy spectra are very similar to each other, with large infrared excesses, peaking near the M-band. The luminosity of each source is estimated to be as high as 3-5x105 L⊙, after correcting for interstellar extinction assuming that they are located near the Galactic center; their luminosity is comparable to those of supergiant stars. By CVF spectrophotometry no CO-band absorption nor Brγ emission has been detected, thus no evidence for either M-supergiant nor OB supergiant has been obtained. On the other hand, the very close linear distances, 0.5 pc among each other, suggests their physical relationship, i.e., they should be very young objects, otherwise they would have been dispersed far apart.
We report on the formation of shallow junctions with high activation in both n+/p and p+/n Ge junctions using ion implantation and Flash Lamp Annealing (FLA). The shallowest junction depths (Xj) formed for the n+/p and p+/n junctions were 7.6 nm and 6.1 nm with sheet resistances (Rs) of 860 ohms/sq. and 704 ohms/sq., respectively. By reducing knocked-on oxygen during ion implantation in the n+/p junctions, Rs was decreased by between 5% and 15%. The lowest Rs observed was 235 ohms/sq. with a junction depth of 21.5 nm. Hall measurements clearly revealed that knocked-on oxygen degraded phosphorus activation (carrier concentration). In the p+/n Ge junctions, we show that ion implantation damage induced high boron activation. Using this technique, Rs can be reduced from 475 ohms/sq. to 349 ohms/sq. These results indicate that the potential for forming ultra-shallow n+/p and p+/n junctions in the nanometer range in Ge devices using FLA is very high, leading to realistic monolithically-integrated Ge CMOS devices that can take us beyond Si technology.
An extensive survey of [CII] line emission has been made with a balloon-borne infrared telescope. It has been found that the emission is diffuse and ubiquitously distributed in general interstellar space.
Spectroscopic observations of CII line emission at 157.7 μm have been made of the Galactic Center region with a Fabry-Perot spectrometer onboard a balloon telescope. Strong emission has been detected ubiquitously in a wide area extending between ± 0.7° in galactic longitude. A ring-like structure is suggested from the double lobed distribution of the emission around the Galactic Center.
The distribution of H2O masers in the Sgr B2 core was observed with a 2.5′×2.5′ wide field and with 540 km s−1 total velocity coverage by the Nobeyama Millimeter Array. Thirty-nine resolved maser spots were detected with a relative positional accuracy of 0.3″, which are clustered into four separate regions. In Sgr B2 north, the cluster lies at the edge of the continuum ridge. One of the maser spots shows strong and wide velocity-spread emission, suggesting it may correspond to a center of star forming activity. In Sgr B2 main, the strong maser spots are projected just on the face of a compact HII region, and are red-shifted relative to the central velocity of the HII region. There are two possibilities to interpret our results in Sgr B2 (M). One is that the H2O maser spots are distributed around the HII region and are infailing to the HII region. The other is that the H2O maser sources are associated with the cloud in the foreground of the HII region.
A cluster of luminous infrared sources has been found near the Galactic Center. It consists of five identical stars clustered in a compact volume, to be called an IR quintuplet. They are all highly reddened, strongly polarized and associated with deep absorptions of silicate band and CO vibration band. They seem to be a cluster of young stars newly born near the Galactic Center.
We report NH3 observations of the Sgr A complex region including Sgr A West and the 20 km/s and 50 km/s molecular clouds (M–0.13–0.08 and M–0.02–0.07) using the Nobeyama Millimeter Array and the 45m telescope. NH3(1,1) and (2,2) lines were simultaneously observed to estimate the kinetic temperature. Our results suggest strong interaction between the molecular clouds and the continuum sources in the Sgr A complex. The interaction with continuum sources might be an important factor in determining the physical conditions of molecular gas in the galactic center region.
Background: The ketogenic diet (KD) is used to treat severe childhood-onset epileptic encephalopathies, such as Infantile Spasms (IS). Unfortunately, limited resources for KD initiation result in treatment delays. We ask if earlier KD treatment of early-onset drug-resistant epilepsy results in better seizure outcomes. Methods: Children who started KD before age 4 years between 2000-present at SickKids Hospital were identified. Six-month seizure outcome was calculated as percent of pre-diet baseline seizure frequency (BSF). Results: 67 children were identified. 30 (44.8%) started KD <2 years old, 37 (55.2%) started KD 2-4 years old. Among <2 years old group, 83.3% achieved 50% reduction in BSF and 36.7% achieved 90% reduction. Among 2-4 year old group, 62.2% achieved 50% reduction in BSF and 24.3% achieved 90% reduction. 38 children had a history of IS; 17 with IS at diet initiation and 21 with past history of IS. 41.2% of the spasms cohort achieved 90% reduction in BSF, compared to 23.8% of the post-spasms cohort. Conclusions: KD was more effective when started before age 2 years than 2-4 years, and more effective in children with IS than in children with past history of IS. A rapid protocol for KD initiation in young infants and children may improve long-term outcomes
We present near-infrared spectroscopy of low-mass companions in the HD 130948 system (Goto et al. 2002a). Adaptive optics on the Subaru Telescope allowed for spectroscopy of the individual components of the 0″.13 binary system. Based on a direct comparison with a series of template spectra, we determined the spectral types of HD 130948B and C to be L4 ± 1. We find they are most likely a binary brown dwarf system.
The region south of the reflection nebula NGC1333 in Perseus is an active star forming region including numerous Herbig-Haro objects and at least 5 protostar candidates with molecular outflows and far-infrared emission. It has been actively studied in various wave bands (e.g. Aspin et al 1994 and references therein). We observed this region with ASCA with the primary objective to detect X-rays from the protostars embedded deep in the molecular cloud.
We carried out a K′ band survey during August and September, 1994, in the south galactic pole region that covers 180.8 arcmin2 to K = 19 and 2.21 arcmin2 to K = 21 by the ANU 2.3 m telescope at SSO, Australia, equipped with PICNIC, developed at NAOJ. New galaxy number counts from K = 13 to 22 were obtained, which provided the best determination of the galaxy counts from K = 17.5 to 19.0 because of our large survey area. They were very consistent with Gardner, Cowie, & Wainscoat (1993, ApJL, 415, 9) and other observations to K < 19, however, they were larger than the galaxy counts of Saracco et al. (1997, AJ, 114, 887) with similar area and depth of survey around that magnitudes.
In the present paper, we stress the importance of the magnetic field in the problem of acceleration and collimation of astrophysical jets, and discuss our proposed generic picture for such “central gravitator + jets + lobes” systems and inherent interpretations of the various observational characteristics of such systems: Mechanisms are proposed for (1) the enhanced liberation of gravitational energy at the central object, (2) the transfer of a part of the liberated energy along the large-scale magnetic field by large-amplitude, torsional Alfvén wave trains that form collimated jets (we call this a sweeping pinch process), (3) the dumping of the transferred energy at the end of the jets when they impinge on the denser region outside the border of the “cavity” from which the mass contracted to the central condensation (central gravitator + accretion disk, as well as the larger-scale condensation surrounding them), and (4) the formation of wiggled jets and lobes as helical kinks and the tucked-up magnetic field produced in the sweeping pinch process, respectively.
PKS 1830-211 is a strong, flat-spectrum compact double source with a component spacing of 1 arcsecond. Observations of PKS 1830-211 were made with the Japanese domestic VLBI network at 2.3 GHz and 8.4 GHz bands in sessions between December 1991 and November 1994. The Usuda 64 m (ISAS) and Kashima 34 m (CRL) telescopes were used for all observations, and were used in conjunction with the Mizusawa 10 m (NAO) for observations in 1994. In addition, the total flux was measured with the Usuda 64 m at both bands. Data was recorded using K3 and K4 formatters and recorders, and correlated with NAOCO (the New Advanced One-unit COrrelator of the National Astronomical Observatory).
Since the real Universe is clumpy and inhomogeneous even at rather large scale such as 100 Mpc, we may wonder whether the isotropic and homogeneous Friedmann model is valid when we compare some cosmological parameters with the observed values. The observed Hubble parameter H0 or the density parameter Ω0 might be deviated from the theoretically expected ones from the Friedmann model. In fact, the density parameter Ω0 seems to vary depending on the observational methods and the distance scales. Furthermore, our Universe seems to possess a fractal property in the galaxy distributions at least at scale up to 10 Mpc.
The VLBI Space Observatory Programme (VSOP) is the first dedicated Space-VLBI mission. We report here on the planning for a second generation mission which builds on and extends the successful collaborations established for the VSOP mission, and which aims to improve both resolution and sensitivity by a factor of ∼10.
On February 12, 1997 the world’s first dedicated VLBI spacecraft, HALCA, was successfully launched as the space borne element of the VSOP mission. This paper describes the calibration observations that have been undertaken so far with this spacecraft.