2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Total Habitable Volume of the Galaxy
Johnny H. Ireland
Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale, Faculty Mentor

The primary aim of this research project is to compute the total habitable volume around the stars in the Galaxy. To this end, we follow the evolution of single stars using a stellar evolution code available to us. This code enables us to determine parameters such as the mass, temperature and luminosity of the star at any instant in time; based on which we calculate the inner and outer edges of the habitable zone. We then simulate a realistic population of stars using an Initial Mass Function (IMF) and then evolve this population using the stellar evolution code. This enables us to calculate the total habitable volume in this population of stars. Moreover, we calculate the duration for which a star can maintain a continuous habitable zone, which is a quantity of great significance in Astrobiology.

Keywords: habitable zone, habitable volume, astrobiology


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 205-1
Location: MG 1096
Time: 9:30

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