Monday, July 4, 2016

N-body simulation models of the Galactic habitable zone

"Grandeur in this view of life": N-body simulation models of the Galactic habitable zone


Vukotić et al


We present an isolated Milky Way-like simulation in GADGET2 N-body SPH code. The Galactic disk star formation rate (SFR) surface densities and stellar mass indicative of Solar neighbourhood are used as thresholds to model the distribution of stellar mass in life friendly environments. SFR and stellar component density are calculated averaging the GADGET2 particle properties on a 2D grid mapped on the Galactic plane. The peak values for possibly habitable stellar mass surface density move from 10 to 15 kpc cylindrical galactocentric distance in 10 Gyr simulated time span. At 10 Gyr the simulation results imply the following. Stellar particles which have spent almost all of their life time in habitable friendly conditions reside typically at ∼16 kpc from Galactic centre and are ∼3 Gyr old. Stellar particles that have spent ≥90% of their 4−5 Gyr long life time in habitable friendly conditions, are also predominantly found in the outskirts of the Galactic disk. Less then 1% of these particles can be found at a typical Solar system galactocentric distance of 8−10 kpc. Our results imply that the evolution of an isolated spiral galaxy is likely to result in galactic civilizations emerging at the outskirts of the galactic disk around stellar hosts younger than the Sun.

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