New Evidence Suggests Venus may have had an Ocean

Venus may have been all wet early on.

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Mars was once considered as the planet that has the potential to hold human life, likewise Earth. But the latest evidence suggests that the second planet in our solar system, Venus, may have had an ocean.

Michael Way, an astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, said, “This work plays into a much bigger puzzle of understanding the habitability of exoplanets.”

In the study, scientists ran PC recreations that ascertained how the cooling of a youthful rough planet’s liquid surface would connect with its creating air and approaching warmth from the youthful Sun.

With carbon dioxide similar to current levels, early Venus would need only 10 percent of the mass of water in Earth’s oceans to form its own watery surface.

Changing the reflectiveness of the clouds and a few other factors show Venus would need almost 30% of the mass of water in Earth’s ocean to form its own ocean.

Planetary scientist Emmanuel Marcq said, “It’s not surprising that Venus may have had an ocean. But whether it actually did is very much a hotly debated, open question. The new work might raise the odds that water vapor could have condensed into an ocean on Venus.”

“Life as we know it requires stable liquid water on a solid surface. Keeping water on a planet requires a specific range of temperatures and pressures. Although it depends on a complex interplay of the planet’s atmospheric composition, the reflectivity of its clouds, how much heat the atmosphere and surface absorb from its star, how much the atmosphere leaks into space and much more.”

Journal Reference

  1. A. Salvador et al. The relative influence of H2O and CO2 on the primitive surface conditions and evolution of rocky planets. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. Published online July 18, 2017. doi:10.1002/2017JE005286.