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‘Hellish hot-house’ Venus could have been habitable before major surface…

by Ace Damon
‘Hellish hot-house’ Venus could have been habitable before major surface...

Our nearest planetary neighbor could have sustained a perfectly livable environment for billions of years, according to a new study, until something caused it to undergo a drastic "resurgence", turning it into a "hellish warm home". "

Since NASA's Pioneer mission in 1978 found signs that shallow oceans flowed over Venus, scientists have wondered if this indicated that the planet could have a climate stable enough to withstand liquid water – a key element in assessing the climate. habitability of any planet.

Often dubbed "Earth's sister planet" because of its similar size and mass, Venus is believed to be too hot and too close to the sun to support liquid water.

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Directed by Dr. Michael Way and Anthony Del Genio of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, new search They studied five scenarios involving different amounts of water cover on Venus and found that in all cases the planet could maintain adequate temperatures to sustain liquid water for a period of three billion years.

The pair say Venus could potentially maintain this temperate climate to the present day, had it not been for a series of events 700 million years ago that caused a catastrophic "degassing" of carbon dioxide stored in the planet's rocks.

“Our hypothesis is that Venus may have a stable climate for billions of years. It is possible that the near-global resurfacing event will be responsible for its transformation from an Earth-like climate to a warm greenhouse that we see today, ”said Way.

It is not yet clear what caused the extreme emission of gases that resulted in the transformation of the planet, although volcanic activity is a possibility. Venus surface temperatures can be hot enough to melt the lead, according to NASA, while the atmosphere is incredibly dense.

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