With a hot surface enough to melt lead and skies darkened by toxic clouds of sulfuric acid, Venus is named as the “evil twin” of the Earth . But the conditions on the planet were not always as “hellish”, according to research even suggests that he may have been the first in the solar system to be habitable.
The study, to be presented this week at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Pasadena, California, concludes that, at the time that primitive bacteria were emerging on Earth, Venus may have had a mild climate and vast oceans of up to 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) deep.
If the calculations are correct, the oceans may have remained on the planet for up to 715 million years – a period sufficiently long stable climate to emerge microbial life
With an average temperature of 462 ° C surface, Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system today, thanks to its proximity to the sun and its impenetrable atmosphere of carbon dioxide, 90 times denser than Earth’s.
“if you lived three billion years ago in a low latitude and low altitude, surface temperatures would not have been very different from that of Earth’s tropics” said Michael Way, who led the research at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.
However, to find traces of ancient microbial life on the planet would require the presence of a probe in the soil of Venus, something still very challenging. “It would take a lot of money and high-tech, of course, to land a probe to survive the current conditions of the surface of Venus and to be able to dig and explore this surface,” said Way. “But if investments are made, you could search for these signs of life, including chemical traces,” said
. Source: The Guardian
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