2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Tidal Locking Radius and Habitable Zones Around M and K Stars
Tyler B. Gardner
Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale, Faculty Mentor

The habitable zone is defined as the region around a star where liquid water can exist on the surface of an orbiting planet. In low-mass stars, tidal locking of planets within this region may impact habitability. Since these stars are abundant in our Galaxy, an accurate understanding of their habitable zones is crucial. We use recently updated results to calculate the distances to the outer and inner edges of the habitable zones around stars of a given mass. We obtain the stellar properties necessary to perform these calculations from the Dartmouth group. We then calculate the tidal locking radius around M and K-type stars of different masses. We present results that show how the tidal locking radius coincides with the habitable zones of low-mass stars, and we discuss the affects these results may have on the probability of finding an exoplanet in the habitable zone of a low-mass star.

Keywords: Habitable Zone, Tidal Locking, Astrobiology


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 302-4
Location: MG 1096
Time: 1:45

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