2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Approximating Galactic Habitable Zone Volume from a Stellar Simulation


Dan A. Miller
Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale, Faculty Mentor

In this talk, the total habitable zone volume of an arbitrarily sized galaxy is calculated using a simulation that models galactic stellar population. We use a Kroupa (2001) initial mass function to generate an initial population for the system that we evolve through time. Special attention is given to the stellar evolution of stars and star formation rate in the system to better represent properties of the galaxy at any given point in time. Each habitable zone around the stars is then found primarily as a function of their luminosity, resulting in knowing the total habitable zone volume for the galaxy. We discuss this result alongside viewing other important properties of the system like overall temperature and population over the course of billions of years. This is done to make conclusions about what factors could potentially correlate to habitable zone volume for such a system.

Keywords: Habitable Zone, Stellar Population, Initial Mass Function, Stellar Evolution, Star Formation, Time Evolution

Topic(s):Physics
Astronomy

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 306-3
Location: MG 2050
Time: 1:30

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