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Home List of Titles The galactic habitable zone and the age distribution of complex life in the Milky Way
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/374
- The galactic habitable zone and the age distribution of complex life in the Milky Way
- Lineweaver, Charles H.; Fenner, Yeshe; Gibson, Brad K.
- We modeled the evolution of the Milky Way to trace the distribution in space and time of four prerequisites for complex life: the presence of a host star, enough heavy elements to form terrestrial planets, sufficient time for biological evolution and an environment free of life-extinguishing supernovae. We identified the Galactic habitable zone (GHZ) as an annular region between 7 and 9 kiloparsecs from the Galactic center that widens with time and is composed of stars that formed between 8 and 4 billion years ago. This GHZ yields an age distribution for the complex life that may inhabit our Galaxy. We found that 75% of the stars in the GHZ are older than the Sun.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
- Science, Vol. 303, no. 5654 (Jan 2004), pp. 59-62
- Publication year
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2004 American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- Peer reviewed