What makes a planet suitable to life? Some researchers think that focusing on a planet’s distance from its sun — the “habitable zone” — is too narrow. A new hypothesis looks at how radioactive elements may be an important factor for life to emerge.
WARNING: Too much radiogenic heat could hurt exoplanet habitability
Radioactive elements produced by colliding neutron stars could make the difference between living and lifeless worlds.
Earth-size planets can have varying amounts of radioactive elements, which generate internal heat that drives a planet’s geological activity and magnetism