Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Advanced Aspects Of Galactic Habitability

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
April 2, 2019
Filed under
Advanced Aspects Of Galactic Habitability
Aspects Of Galactic Habitability

Context. Astrobiological evolution of the Milky Way (or the shape of its “astrobiological landscape”) has emerged as one of the key research topics in recent years.

In order to build precise, quantitative models of the Galactic habitability, we need to account for two opposing tendencies of life and intelligence in the most general context: the tendency to spread to all available ecological niches (conventionally dubbed “colonization”) and the tendency to succumb to various types of existential catastrophes (“catastrophism”). These evolutionary tendencies have become objects of study in fields such as ecology, macroevolution, risk analysis, and futures studies, while a serious astrobiological treatment has been lacking so far.

Aims. Our aim is to numerically investigate the dynamics of opposed processes of expansion (panspermia, colonization) and extinction (catastrophic mechanisms) of life in the Galaxy.

Methods. We employ a new type of numerical simulation based on 1D probabilistic cellular automaton with very high temporal resolution, in order to study astrobiological dynamics. Results. While the largest part of the examined parameter space shows very low habitability values, as expected, the remaining part has some observationally appealing features that imply, among other things, a reduction in the amount of fine-tuning necessary for resolving the Fermi paradox.

Conclusions. Advanced aspects of Galactic habitability are amenable to precision studies using massive parallel computer simulations. There are regions of parameter space corresponding to a quasi-stationary state satisfying observable constraints and possessing viable SETI targets.

Vladimir Đošović, Branislav Vukotić, Milan M. Ćirković
(Submitted on 1 Apr 2019)

Subjects: Popular Physics (physics.pop-ph); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Cellular Automata and Lattice Gases (nlin.CG)
Cite as: arXiv:1904.01062 [physics.pop-ph] (or arXiv:1904.01062v1 [physics.pop-ph] for this version)
Submission history
From: Vladimir Đošović
[v1] Mon, 1 Apr 2019 18:45:34 UTC (3,252 KB)

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.