If it were not for Jupiter, Venus might be livable today

Akatsuki Venus

Composite of images taken by Akatsuki, the Japanese spacecraft of Venus. Sincerely: JAXA / ISAS / DARTS / Damia Bouick

The study shows the destabilizing effect of the giant gas planet.

Venus There may not be a fierce waterless hell today, if Jupiter According to new UC Riverside research, its orbit around the sun did not change.

Jupiter has a mass that is two and a half times larger than all other planets in our solar system – combined. Because it is comparatively huge, it has the potential to disturb the orbits of other planets.

Early in the formation of Jupiter as a planet, it moved away from the Sun and then away due to its interaction with the disk from which the planets as well as other giant planets are formed. This movement in turn affected Venus.

Observations from other planetary systems have shown that similar massive planetary escapes may be a relatively common occurrence soon after formation. Among the findings of a new study published in Journal of Planetary Science.

Scientists believe that liquid water deficient planets should be unable to host life as we know it. Although Venus may lose water quickly for other reasons, and may continue to do so anyway, UCR astronomer Stephen Kane stated that Jupiter’s motion triggered Venus on a path toward its current, inhuman state.

“One interesting thing about today’s Venus is that its orbit is almost completely spherical,” said Kane, who led the study. “With this project, I wanted to find out if the orbit has always been spherical, and if not, what are its implications?”

To answer these questions, Kane created a model that mimicked the solar system, calculating the location of all the planets at any given time and how they pulled each other in different directions.

Scientists measure how much the value of a planet’s orbit is less than 0, which is completely spherical, and 1, which is not spherical. A number between 0 and 1 is called the eccentricity of the class. An orbit with an eccentricity of 1 will not even complete an orbit around a star; It will only launch in space, Kane said.

Currently, Venus’s orbit is measured at 0.006, which is the most spherical of any planet in our solar system. However, Kane’s model suggests that when Jupiter was close to the sun about a billion years ago, Venus likely had a fad of 0.3, and that there was a high probability that it was habitable then.

“During Jupiter’s migration, Venus would undergo dramatic changes in climate, then warm up and cool down and rapidly lose its water in the atmosphere,” Kane said.

Recently, scientists created a lot of excitement by searching for a gas in the clouds above Venus that could indicate the presence of life. The gas, phosphine, is usually produced by microbes, and Kane says that it is possible that the gas “represents the last living species on a planet that has undergone a dramatic change in its environment.”

However, for this to happen, Kane stated that the germs would have maintained their presence in sulfuric Acid Nearly a billion years after the clouds above Venus when Venus had liquid water on its surface – it’s hard to imagine, though not an impossible scenario.

“There are probably many other processes that can produce gas that has not yet been detected,” Kane said.

Finally, Ken says it’s important to understand what happened to Venus, a planet that was once habitable and now has a surface temperature of up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

“I focus on the differences between Venus and Earth, and what went wrong for Venus, so we can get an idea of ​​how the Earth is habitable, and what we can do to make this planet the best it can be. Can do, ”Ken said.

Reference: “Did Jupiter’s Migration Speed ​​Up Venus’s Atmospheric Growth?” Stephen R. Kane, Pam Vervoort, Jonathan Horner and Francisco Jay. Pozulos, 4 September 2020, The Planetary Science Journal.
DOI: 10.3847 / PSJ / abae63

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