Compared to its celestial neighbours Venus and Mars, Earth is a pretty habitable place. So how did we get so lucky? A new study sheds light on the improbable evolutionary path that enabled Earth to sustain life.
The research, published this week in Nature Geoscience, suggests that Earth's first crust, which was rich in radioactive heat-producing elements such as uranium and potassium, was torn from the planet and lost to space when asteroids bombarded the planet early in its history. This phenomenon, known as impact erosion, helps explain a landmark discovery made over a decade ago about the Earth's composition.