This infographic explores some of the many factors that affect whether a planet can support life as we know it. A habitable planet is one that can sustain life as we know it for billions of years. A planet’s ability to harbor life results from the complex interplay between its host star, its own orbit and rotation, and the make-up of its surface and interior. One required ingredient for habitability is liquid water, so the planet must orbit in the region around its star where liquid water can exist on its surface. This region is called the habitable zone. But that alone is not enough — there are many other considerations that go into a planet’s potential for supporting life. PDF versions of the graphics tagged for screen readers are available at the bottom of this page.