Published Article: Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach


The very first published article in the Journal of Astrobiology and Outreach was an editorial entitled “Does Space Weather Matter to Astrobiology? The International Space Weather Initiative” written by

Hans J Haubold

Space weather events can have significant effects all the way from the Sun to Earth. They have been implicated in the depletion of ozone and cloud formation, and their signatures may even be seen in ice core records spanning more than 400 years into the past. Solar activity at other planets, and elsewhere in the solar system, can be important, and violent flare activity can even be observed at other stars. Economically, these events may have severe consequences ranging from human exposure to increased radiation to disruption of communications, navigation and timing, and electrical power.

 This short communication summarizes briefly the current status of the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) implemented in the spirit of the continuation of the International Heliophysical Year 2007 (IHY), facilitated by the United Nations (UN) [1,2]. This short communication is calling on the astrobiology community to explore avenues for cooperation in basic space science in terms of data analysis and modeling, specifically focusing on issues common to astrobiology and space weather [3-6]. Data emanating from more than 1000 space weather instruments operating in more than 112 nations (at this point of time) may also be utilized for the benefit of astrobiology.

The basic space science initiative of the United Nations is a longterm effort for the development of astronomy and space science through regional and international cooperation in these disciplines on a worldwide basis, particularly in developing nations (Figure 1). Basic space science workshops were co-sponsored and co-organized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the European Space Agency (ESA). The Committee On Space Research (COSPAR) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) acted as co-organizers of UNBSSI. A UN document containing the full report on UNBSSI is available at

Ann Jose Ph.D.
Associate Editor 
Journal of Astrobiology and Outreach
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