Venus Has The Same Composition As Earth, May Have Been Habitable Billion Years Ago

First Posted: Aug 16, 2016 05:07 AM EDT

A NASA study reveals that the planet Venus, which is also referred to as the twin-sized of planet Earth, had a shallow ocean and cooler temperatures 2 billion years of its early history. This indicates that the said planet might have been habitable before.

In the study, the researchers created a 3-D climate simulations using topographic data. They discovered planet Venus had moderate temperatures if Venus had a rotation period slower than approximately 16 Earth days. It indicates that the climate of Venus could have remained liveable until at least 715 million years ago. On the other hand, a planet is an inhospitable place as of today due to having surface temperatures approaching 750K and an atmosphere 90 times as thick as Earth's.

The study was printed in Geophysical Research Letters. The lead author, Michael Way from NASA said that water is favourable to life and Mars is a much tougher place for life to get started. He further said that it was only warm and wet very early in its history and it's been a dead planet for the last 4 billion years. On the other hand, he said that the modeling they did was to say that Venus might be a better place to look for the beginnings of life.

Furthermore, Way stated that this indicates that Earth and Venus have similar compositions. He explained that Venus had a stable, wet, warm climate for longer than had been speculated. This could be because Venus has a carbon cycle and structure similar to Earth's subduction plate tectonics. Earth and Venus are abundant in carbon dioxide. The Earth has it in its lithosphere and rocks. On the other hand, Venus has in its atmosphere.

Way also stated that more missions in the future may be able to uphold how much water Venus had. These involve how it lost its water and over what time span, maybe even revealing what was on the surface in addition to water, according to CNN.


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