Could Venus have been habitable? NASA scientists want to prove so – Science

Could Venus have been habitable? NASA scientists want to prove so - Science

A new report presents the theory that Venus may once have had Earth-like conditions. Led by Michael Way and Anthony Del Genio of the US Space Agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the study indicates that for two to three billion years, the planet would not only have a stable climate, but also state water. liquid, even having an ocean. However, an event possibly related to severe degassing has triggered a dramatic transformation, leaving it in its present state.

Although several researchers believe that Venus is beyond the habitable boundary of our solar system, as it is too close to the sun to support the presence of water in its liquid state, the study presented in the 2019 edition of the European Planetary Science Congress, in Switzerland, it shows a contrary perspective.

To formulate their theory, the researchers drew on the evidence discovered by NASA's Pioneer Venus mission in 1978, which pointed to the possible existence of an ocean on the planet. By creating a series of five simulations with different levels of water coverage on the second planet from the sun, not forgetting also the increase of solar radiation and atmospheric changes over time, Way and Del Genio came to the conclusion that in In all scenarios, Venus has been able to maintain stable temperatures between 50 and 20 degrees Celsius for three billion years. According to experts, this is an indication that it was able to accommodate liquid water on its surface.

Until it reached its present state, Venus underwent a marked transformation, which continues to intrigue the study's researchers. Among the formulated scenarios, Way and Del Genio believe that the most likely was a severe degassing that occurred 700 million years ago, where a vast amount of gas was released into the atmosphere and could not be absorbed by the soil. The presence of high levels of carbon dioxide triggered what the two scientists call an “uncontrolled greenhouse effect”, causing the planet to average 462 degrees Celsius.

However, according to scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in a press release, to come up with a definitive answer as to whether Venus is habitable, further research is needed.

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