Geophysicists say Venus could have been habitable long before Earth

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(ORDO NEWS) — On the surface of Venus, which scientists now call the “hellish planet”, potentially habitable liquid oceans could have existed in ancient times.

This is stated in a new study by specialists from the department of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago.

Within its framework, geophysicists, relying on data known to science, built a new computer model.

She tested various scenarios for the historical development of Venus, taking into account the possible variation in the composition of its atmosphere.

The model with three different starting time points was run a total of 94,080 times. To analyze the results and identify the most reliable of them, the researchers developed a special scoring system.

Only a few hundred launches have produced results consistent with those of Venus’ modern atmosphere.

Summarizing them, geophysicists came to the conclusion that liquid oceans could exist on the surface of the “hellish planet” long before life on Earth originated.

And scientists consider the presence of liquid water one of the most important conditions for the emergence and development of life.

Hypothetical habitable epochs on Venus should have ended up to three billion years ago, according to a new study.

Moreover, this was possible at a maximum ocean depth of 300 meters over the entire water surface, that is, we are talking about the general hydrosphere of the planet.

Simulations have also proven that Venus has certainly been uninhabited for more than 70 percent of its history, four times longer than some previous estimates.

In other words, scientists have found that if liquid water had really been present on the surface of Venus three billion years ago, some form of life could also have existed on it.

However, the authors of the study emphasize that we have nothing to compare with, since we have only one example of the existence of life on a damp rocky planet, that is, Earth.

Only on the example of our planet can we evaluate the “molecular clock of evolution”. As for Venus, today it has an extremely dry and oxygen-poor atmosphere.

However, recent studies have shown that at an early stage in the development of the planet, liquid water and clouds in the atmosphere could be present on its surface, which together could create and maintain conditions for life.

This theory was tested in a new study of geophysics.


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