Venus could have once housed life: NASA • Bioscholar News –

Venus could have once housed life: NASA • Bioscholar News


Venus today is a hellish world with temperatures reaching 462 degrees Celsius on its surface and almost no water vapor, but for two billion years of its initial history

the planet could have harbored life, according to a study by NASA.

In those days, Venus may have had an ocean of shallow liquid water and habitable surface temperatures, according to a computational model of the ancient climate of the planet by scientists at the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York. [19659003] The findings, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, were obtained with a model similar to the type used to predict future climate change on Earth.

"Many of the same tools we use to model climate change on Earth can be adapted to study climates on other planets, past and present," said the lead author of the article, Michael Way, GISS researcher.

"These results show that ancient Venus may have been a very different place than it is today, Way noted.

Today's Venus has an overwhelming carbon dioxide atmosphere 90 times thicker than that of Earth

Scientists have theorized that Venus was formed with ingredients similar to those on Earth, but followed a different evolutionary path.

NASA's Pioneer mission to Venus in the 1980s first suggested that Venus originally could have had an ocean.

Previous studies have shown that the speed with which a planet rotates on its axis affects if it has a habitable climate.A day on Venus is 117 Earth days.

But investigations Recent studies showed that Venus could have had an atmosphere similar to today.

Another factor that affects the climate of a planet is topography.

The team postulated ancient Venus had more dry land than the Earth, especially in the tropics.

That limits the amount of water evaporated from the oceans and, as a result, the greenhouse effect from water vapor.

This type of surface seems ideal for making a habitable planet, according to scientists.

It seems there was enough water to keep life abundant, with enough land to reduce the sensitivity of the planet to changes in incoming sunlight.

The researchers simulated the conditions of a hypothetical early Venus with an atmosphere similar to Earth's, a day as long as the current day of Venus, and a shallow ocean consistent with the first data from the Pioneer spacecraft.

Researchers added information about V The enus topography of radar measurements taken by NASA's Magellan mission in the 1990s filled the lowland water, leaving the highlands exposed as Venusian continents.

The study also took into account an old sun that was up to 30 percent weaker. 19659003] Even so, ancient Venus still received approximately 40% more sunlight than Earth today.

"In the simulation of the GISS model, the slow turn of Venus exposes its day to the sun for almost two months at a time," GISS co-author and fellow scientist, Anthony Del Genio, said

"This heats up the surface and produces rain that creates a thick layer of clouds, which acts as an umbrella to protect the surface of much of the solar heating.The result is an average temperature of the climate that is actually a few degrees colder than that of the Earth today, "said Genius.

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