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Once upon a time, Venus (might have) had life, say researchers

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Venus today

According to this thesis, Venus is not beyond the edge of the habitable zone but was affected by a massive resurfacing event:

It all started about 700 million years ago when a massive resurfacing event triggered a runaway Greenhouse Effect that caused Venus’s atmosphere to become incredibly dense and hot. This means that for 2 to 3 billion years after Venus formed, the planet could have maintained a habitable environment. According to a recent study, that would have been long enough for life to have emerged on “Earth’s Sister”…

This flies in the face of conventional notions of habitability, which state that Venus’ orbit places it beyond the inner edge of our Sun’s habitable zone (HZ). Within this “Venus Zone”, according to conventional wisdom, a planet absorbs too much solar radiation to ever be able to maintain liquid water on its surface. But as Way indicated, their simulations all indicated otherwise:

“Venus currently has almost twice the solar radiation that we have at Earth. However, in all the scenarios we have modelled, we have found that Venus could still support surface temperatures amenable for liquid water.”

These findings are in line with a similar study that Way and Del Genio conducted in 2016 with colleagues from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the Planetary Science Institute (PSI), Uppsala University and Columbia University. For this study, their team created a suite of 3D climate simulations using data from the Magellan mission that examined how the presence of an ocean on ancient Venus would affect its habitability.

Matt Williams, “Venus Could Have Supported Life for Billions of Years” at Universe Today

Here’s the thesis:

It could be the basis for a “long ago and not so far away” space trilogy.

See also: Could there be life adrift in Venus’s clouds?

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4 Replies to “Once upon a time, Venus (might have) had life, say researchers

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    We don’t even need to change assumptions about Venus, just change assumptions about the limits of habitation. Bacteria seem to flourish in Venus-like conditions deep underground on earth.

  2. 2
    anthropic says:

    Perhaps the Earth seeded life to Venus as a result of an asteroid impact here when Venus was habitable. Not terribly likely, but not impossible.

  3. 3
    martin_r says:

    is some smart evolutionist in here?

    i have a simple question… lets say, that on Venus, there is everything needed for carbon based life. Right temperature, the right atmosphere, and so on…

    When i take a bacteria from Earth and i will bring it to the Venus, one day, will i meet humans on Venus ?

    Is this what you evolutionists believe?

    Or how does it work?

    If bacteria won’t work, what do i need to take from Earth, to meet humans on Venus one day ?

    Thank you

  4. 4
    Fasteddious says:

    I wondered how “resurfacing” could increase the atmosphere to such an extent. The article suggests “massive outgassing of CO2” from magma eruptions during the resurfacing. That seems a real stretch. Why doesn’t the same happen on earth with our constant recycling of the lithosphere? Is there enough CO2 dissolved in magma to increase the atmospheric pressure by two orders of magnitude? The paper is based on some modelling of supposedly possible ancient conditions on Venus.
    Is there a rating scale for the credibility of scientific articles?

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