With every new exoplanet discovered, the same question arises: Could this world host life?
The default way scientists first approach that question is to check if the planet lies in the so-called habitable zone, the range of distances from a star in which a planet can hold liquid water on its surface. But water alone doesn't make life, so in a new paper, a team of scientists looked at another aspect of habitability: whether a planet receives enough ultraviolet radiation to create life's building blocks.
"The thing that you know best about any exoplanet system is the star," Paul Rimmer, lead author on the new study and an astrochemist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, told Space.com. "So, that seemed like a natural thing to start with." [9 Strange, Scientific Excuses for Why We Haven't Found Aliens Yet]To read more, click here.