A climate model suggests that the surface of Venus was never cold enough for an ocean, which calls into question the former planet’s ability to host life at all. Venus has long been seen as a “dead” planet, but new missions to Earth’s twin could reveal if It was still geologically active.
According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, one of the main questions that scientists hope to answer is whether Venus harbored oceans shortly after its birth 4.5 billion years ago.
Earth had oceans about four billion years ago and Mars had lakes and rivers 3.5 – 3.8 billion years ago, but the mystery remains as to whether water condensed on the surface of Venus because the planet has undergone massive events that returned to the surface that obscured most of its history .
And according to new research, it seems unlikely that Earth’s closest neighbor ever hosted life, as a team of astrophysicists led by the University of Geneva and the National Center for Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS, Switzerland has created a climate model to replicate the conditions that would have appeared on Venus. Little.
Climate models indicate that the temperature of Venus’s atmosphere has never decreased enough for water to condense, and thus, for precipitation to fall and oceans to form.
“We simulated the climate of Earth and Venus at the beginning of their evolution, more than four billion years ago, when the surface of the planets was still melting,” said Martin Turbet, who was one of the researchers who worked on the model.
For the oceans to form, the researchers said, the atmosphere’s temperature must drop enough for the water to condense and fall as rain over several thousand years, as it did on Earth.
But their model showed that temperatures never dropped enough for this to happen, and instead water remained as a gas in the atmosphere.
Astrophysicists said that although the sun at that time was 30% lighter than it is now, this was not enough to lower the temperature of Venus to a point where oceans could form.
Such a decrease in temperature was only possible if the surface of Venus was shielded from solar radiation by clouds, but the model indicates that clouds formed on the night side of the planet, where they cannot obscure the sun.