Some scientists argued that life would have been possible on Venus in the distant past. But a new study suggests that the conditions would never have been met to make this miracle possible …
Previous life-friendly modeling work determined the planet had cooled sufficiently to receive liquid water on the surface. This phenomenon would have been made possible in large part thanks to the clouds. These then reflected a large part of the solar radiation back into space.. Another favorable parameter, the sun was then very “young” at the time and was approximately 30% cooler than it is today.
But a new study, published in the journal Nature, tend to prove the contrary. A team of scientists led by Martin Turbet, a researcher at the Geneva Astronomical Observatory in Switzerland, carried out a new simulation of the Venusian climate. This was carried out based on a new model, giving very different results.
Venus: a hell for a long time
As a first step, the team thoroughly reviewed the theory that the clouds would have protected Venus solar heat. First of all, these would have been quartered to the unlit part of the planet. Then, the too low quantity of clouds occupying the part facing the sun would simply have caused a violent greenhouse effect.
Then another theory suggested the presence of certain rocks on the surface of Venus, known as tesserae, which is believed to be similar in composition to continental rocks on Earth. If the presence of the latter suggested that liquid water could have flowed on its surface, as is the case on Earth, nothing is less certain today.
Indeed, in a scientific article published in the same journal, researchers James Kasting and Chester Harman also come back to this theory. They state: “On our planet, such rocks are formed by metamorphic processes (in which minerals change shape without melting) which happen in the presence of liquid water“. Before adding: “If the tesserae turn out on the contrary to be basaltic, like the normal seabed on Earth, liquid water would not have been necessary to generate them, which supports the hypothesis of Turbet and his colleagues ”. NASA will send two missions to Venus by 2030.
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Source : space.com