Where to find life in the Milky Way galaxy

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

A paper published today on the Los Alamos astro-ph preprint website has attempted to model the habitable zones within the Milky Way galaxy. From the abstract:

We predict that ~1.2% of all stars host a planet that may have been capable of supporting complex life at some point in the history of the Galaxy. Of those stars with a habitable planet, ~75% of planets are predicted to be in a tidally locked configuration with their host star. The majority of these planets that may support complex life are found towards the inner Galaxy, distributed within, and significantly above and below, the Galactic midplane.[emphasis mine]

They took into consideration the hazard of supernovae for killing off planetary life, as well as other factors such as the where the necessary heavier elements would be available for producing planets.

You can download the paper here [pdf].


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *