Anyone who knows a bit of astronomy is wondering how Venus could ever be hosting life, considering that the planet is practically a living Hell. The temperatures reach 481 degrees Celsius, the atmospheric pressure is the same as the one found 900 meters under the waters of Earth, it rains with sulphuric acid, and so on.
However, Venus was once a totally different planet from the one we know today. According to recent studies, scientists concluded that Venus once had surface water and a habitable environment for around 3 billion years. While nobody could tell for sure if Venus also hosted any life forms, scientists from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) believe that Jupiter managed to ruin any life hosting potential of our neighboring planet.
Jupiter has altered Venus’ orbit around the Sun
Although Jupiter has a very productive role by keeping Earth safe from many of the asteroids and comets that come too close, the biggest planet from our solar system can also be very harmful. By moving closer and then away from the Sun during its early formation, Jupiter’s huge gravitational pull destroyed Venus’ potential for developing a hospitable environment. A runaway greenhouse effect was created, and it led to the vaporizing of surface oceans.
Astrobiologist Stephen Kane from the University of California, Riverside, declared:
As Jupiter migrated, Venus would have gone through dramatic changes in climate, heating up then cooling off and increasingly losing its water into the atmosphere.
Scientists used a computer model for tracking the position of planets from the Solar System. It was revealed that as Jupiter moved away from the Sun, it would have nudged Venus into the circular orbit that it features nowadays.
Stephen Kane also says:
I focus on the differences between Venus and Earth, and what went wrong for Venus, so we can gain insight into how the Earth is habitable, and what we can do to shepherd this planet as best we can,
The new study was published in the Planetary Science Journal.