Oceans may have covered Venus before it became a hell planet, study claims – DNyuz

Oceans may have covered Venus before it became a hell planet, study claims

Venus, often called Earth’s twin, is a hellscape of a planet ruled by surface temperatures ranging from 820 degrees to nearly 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite being hot enough to melt lead, a new study claims that Venus may have been covered in oceans that were quickly lost to the hell-like atmosphere we know today.

A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims that if Venus was ever habitable – a question many have asked over the decades – then it is likely that oceans once covered the planet similarly to how they cover Earth. This study claims that the oceans wouldn’t have survived as Venus became arid.

While scientists believe that there were once oceans on Venus, some people seriously question that claim. But, this new research looks deeper at the question. According to models of the history of Venus’ atmosphere, oceans on Venus could have potentially existed over three billion years ago. However, the rate of oxygen loss means that the oceans would have dried up very quickly.

Venus was more temperate when the Sun was weaker earlier in the solar system. The existence of oceans at Venus was possible during this time. As the Sun became more powerful, Venus warmed up and the atmosphere thickened, which created more pressure.

Of course, this is just a possibility, and as the researcher notes, there is still no definitive proof that Venus was actually habitable all those years ago. What does create some confusion and bafflement here, though, is the fact that if oceans had existed on Venus all those years ago, where did the oxygen go?

Despite Venus’ surface temperature rising and the atmosphere warming up, oxygen from any evaporated water would still be in the atmosphere. This is oxygen that should not have been allowed to escape Venus’ atmosphere. It seems unlikely that Venus has ever been covered by oceans, as there are a lot of oxygen in its atmosphere.

Some possibilities could have accounted for the oxygen vanishing, like it becoming bound in carbon dioxide from the volcanoes that line the Venusian surface. Scientists say that this scenario is unlikely. One possibility is that oxygen was released from the atmosphere, or it could have been trapped on the surface in oxidizable magnesium.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to say exactly which is the truth, so we’ll need to wait for more spacecraft to study Venus and learn more properly. Did you know that the only photos of Venus’ surface were taken in the 1980s? Perhaps future missions will give us a better view of Earth’s closest neighboring planet.

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