The Space & Beyond Blog

Two children in a field looking up at a spiral galaxy

Credit: NASA

The 5 requirements for life beyond Earth

Alien life, if it exists, might not have the same requirements for life as Earthlings do. But if E.T. is out there, it’ll probably depend on these five things.

Three diagrams showing the location of the habitable zones by sunlike stars, hotter stars, and cooler stars

Green sections indicate the habitable zones, the region where liquid water can exist, that surround various types of stars. Scientists think “Goldilocks” planets within these zones get just the right amount of energy, so they are not too hot and not too cold. For cooler red-dwarf stars, their habitable zone is much closer in. New research indicates that being this close to a red dwarf star could mean trouble for an otherwise habitable exoplanet. Credit: NASA

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Powerful superflares from young red dwarf stars, like the one shown in this artist's concept, can strip the atmospheres from fledgling planets, spelling disaster for any potential life.

Powerful superflares from young red dwarf stars, like the one shown in this artist’s concept, can strip the atmospheres from fledgling planets, spelling disaster for any potential life. Credit: NASA/ESA/D. Player (STScI)

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