Science

Scientists claim that Venus was once a habitable Earth-like planet

IMAGE CREDITS: NATURE

Scientists say that Venus was once an Earth-like planet, though natural planetary climate change has made it one of the most uninhabitable planets in the solar system. 

According to Science, it is thought that the second planet of the solar system had watery oceans and possibly life approximately 2 billion years ago. The article claims that the idea traces back to 1978 when NASA’s Pioneer Venus Spacecraft found evidence of shallow oceans on the surface of Venus and, since then, researching Venus’ past and its possible life era has been prominent throughout the astronomy community. 

The process of climate change has made Venus one of the most inhabitable planets in the solar system and, as NASA discovered, it has an atmosphere 90 times thicker than Earth’s with 96% of carbon dioxide (the result of the extreme green-house effect). The temperature of Venus is 872oF, has a pressure of 93 bar (compared to the surface of Earth, which has the pressure of 1 bar), and clouds of sulfuric acid. 

The Sun is responsible for the majority of climate change that took place on Venus. Venus is nearer to the Sun than Earth (30% closer) and, therefore, the radiation and heat have a much more important role there. The extreme heat caused the oceans to evaporate and the radiation broke the water vapor molecules and caused CO2 to proliferate since oceans often absorb large amounts of Carbon Dioxide. 

According to Science.com, proof of these past conditions of Venus may be hiding on Earth’s moon. Meteorites that hit Venus two billion years ago may have landed on the Moon and, therefore, some moon rocks may have proof of previous life on Venus. But, if those rocks hit the Moon, they would have also landed on Earth. But, erosion on Earth from the wind or water flow could have easily erased all the evidence that may have existed. However, on the moon, the only source of destruction is the dust that occasionally flows on the moon’s surface, allowing scientists to believe there may be some evidence of life on venus hidden within the rocks on the moon. 

ARTICLE: SAMI CALVO

EDITOR: KYLE SMITH, SCIENCE EDITOR

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