Galactic habitable zone around M and FGK stars with chemical evolution models that include dust
1 Dipartimento di Fisica, Sezione di Astronomia, Università di Trieste, via G.B. Tiepolo 11, 34131 Trieste, Italy
2 I.N.A.F. Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, via G.B. Tiepolo 11, 34131 Trieste, Italy
Received: 2 February 2017
Accepted: 6 May 2017
Context. The Galactic habitable zone is defined as the region with a metallicity that is high enough to form planetary systems in which Earth-like planets could be born and might be capable of sustaining life. Life in this zone needs to survive the destructive effects of nearby supernova explosion events.
Aims. Galactic chemical evolution models can be useful tools for studying the galactic habitable zones in different systems. Our aim here is to find the Galactic habitable zone using chemical evolution models for the Milky Way disk, adopting the most recent prescriptions for the evolution of dust and for the probability of finding planetary systems around M and FGK stars. Moreover, for the first time, we express these probabilities in terms of the dust-to-gas ratio of the interstellar medium in the solar neighborhood as computed by detailed chemical evolution models.
Methods. At a fixed Galactic time and Galactocentric distance, we determined the number of M and FGK stars that host earths (but no gas giant planets) that survived supernova explosions, using the formalism of our Paper I.
Results. The probabilities of finding terrestrial planets but not gas giant planets around M stars deviate substantially from the probabilities around FGK stars for supersolar values of [Fe/H]. For both FGK and M stars, the maximum number of stars hosting habitable planets is at 8 kpc from the Galactic Center when destructive effects by supernova explosions are taken into account. Currently, M stars with habitable planets are ≃10 times more frequent than FGK stars. Moreover, we provide a sixth-order polynomial fit (and a linear fit, but that is more approximated) for the relation found with chemical evolution models in the solar neighborhood between the [Fe/H] abundances and the dust-to-gas ratio.
Conclusions. The most likely Galactic zone in which to find terrestrial habitable planets around M and FGK stars is the annular 2 kpc wide region that is centered at 8 kpc from the Galactic center (the solar neighborhood). We also provide the probabilities of finding Earth-like planets as the function of the interstellar medium dust-to-gas ratio using detailed chemical evolution model results.
Key words: Galaxy: abundances / Galaxy: evolution / planets and satellites: general / ISM: general
© ESO, 2017