Week 2 + Half of 3

So last week I was actually gone from Monday through Wednesday doing some stuff for another internship I applied to for this summer, but when I got back, it was straight back to work. We had our first progress check with Dr. Karalidi since she got back from her conference, and we found out we were doing it wrong; sort of. At least for the beginning of this project, she only wants us to focus on the liquid water habitable zone, and she wants us to do it in a different way than before. Before, we were using the spectral type(type of classification) of the star to get an approximate temperature and luminosity. We would then use those values in an equation we found in a paper to calculate the radius of the habitable zone. Instead what she wants us to do is to use more specific data that is given to calculate the zone. The way that I am approaching the problem is as follows:

The database gives different apparent magnitudes(measure of brightness) for different filters(U filter is for Ultraviolet light, B filter is for Blue light, etc). Each of those filters has a curve that shows its transmission for certain wavelengths. For example, the U filter will peak at roughly 365nm and will begin to drop off on either side. While I do not have the exact equations of the curve, I have many of the data points, so I think that I can use a program to do a semi decent approximation(pictures to follow in the next couple days). What I think I can do is take the area under this curve and multiply it by the flux density which is calculated with the apparent magnitude to get the flux for the specific filter. If I then add the fluxes of the different filters, I think that I will end up with the total flux of the star measured from the Earth. Then using the fact that flux decreases according to the relationship 1/distance^2, I can calculate the flux of the star measured from near the star, which can then be used to find the habitable zone, since it is roughly known how much flux is needed for the liquid water habitable zone.

While this is the way that I chose to approach the problem, I still have no idea if it is actually going to work. I did a rough calculation a couple days ago, and the results looked like they might be in the ballpark. I should know in a couple days, and will keep everyone updated.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s