Monday, February 20, 2017

The Ideal Stellar Mass for Long Term Habitability of Worlds


Oishi et al


In addition to the habitable zone (HZ), the UV habitable zone (UV-HZ) is important when considering the existence of persistent life in the universe. The UV-HZ is defined as the area where the UV radiation field from a host star is moderate for persistent life existence. This is because UV is necessary for the synthesis of biochemical compounds. The UV-HZ must overlap the HZ when life appears and evolves. In this paper, following our previous study of the HZ, we examine the UV-HZ in cases with a stellar mass range from 0.08 to 4.00 M ☉ with various metallicities during the main sequence phase. This mass range was chosen because we are interested in an environment similar to that of Earth. The effect of metallicity is reflected in the spectrum of the host stars, and we reexamine it in the context of the UV-HZ. The present work shows the effect of metallicity when that in the UV-HZ is less than that in the HZ. Furthermore, we find that the chance of persistent life existence declines as the metallicity decreases, as long as the UV radiation is not protected and/or boosted by any mechanisms. This is because the overlapped region of a persistent HZ and UV-HZ decreases. We find that the most appropriate stellar mass for the persistence of life existence is from 1.0 to 1.5 M ☉ with metallicity Z = 0.02, and only about 1.2 M ☉ with Z = 0.002. When Z = 0.0002, the chance of persistent life existence is very low, assuming that the ocean does not protect the life from UV radiation.

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