As our exoplanet products continue to accumulate (and we have seen more than 11,000 expatriates in the meantime) we need to know if the largest planet on Earth is possible to look like Earth, or to look like Venus. “We do not know which of the following results we will expect or which,” said Paul Byrne, a planetary scientist at North Carolina State University. And to get this we need to understand Venus very well.
Most scientists would agree that any living organism may have water in it.
With a global temperature of 471 ° C and an 89-degree pressure above the Earth, it seems unlikely that water ever existed on Venus. But Venus and the Earth are the same, the same ages, and our best idea is that they are made of the same material and were born with the same origins. Venus is 30% closer to the sun than Earth, which is important, but not surprising. And after 4.5 billion years, the two planets have become quite different.
On the contrary, there is ample evidence that Venus must have lived in ancient aquatic times. The Pioneer Venus Mission, founded in 1978, made extensive comparisons of deuterium-hydrogen in the atmosphere, showing that Venus has lost enough water over time. But we have never had the task of studying this aquatic history at Venus, exploring the ancient forms of water on land, or understanding whether they had the natural and climatic features that are important for water and habitat.
“There may have been two neighboring countries indefinitely in our solar system,” says Giada Arney, deputy chief investigator for DAVINCI +. Although Venus does not exist in modern times, the fact that humans may once exist means that they have not always had the prospect of surviving the slightest disturbance.
And this is good news for the way we illuminate remote exoplanets. “If we look beyond the sun, this could mean that the planets that will inhabit it are much larger than we previously thought,” says Arney.
There are two preconceived notions of what happened to Venus – and both have implications for what we can expect from other aliens. The first, in line with what we have seen so far, is that Venus began as a chaos from then on and did not give up. Note that while the earth is in orbit around the existing star, it is possible that it is rotating in a slow motion (or a closed loop where one side faces the star, if the moon is around the Earth).
Round orbits like Venus often have a difficult time keeping the global climate stable and stable — and for some time it has been speculated that this is probably what made Venus so hot and resilient. The sun destroys the earth by heat, and steam does not fill the surface with water. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide, water, and sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere act as a greenhouse gas that simply absorbs all the heat. And so it has been for 4 billion years, giving or taking.
There is also another idea that Michael Way and others made recently at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Study. The color suggests that if you could make tiny droplets on these planets, they could create the shape of a long cloud that is always in contact with the stars, showing the high temperature of the star. As a result, a planet like Venus becomes hot and hot air settles in the oceans above it. The work of the Way shows that once you get here, the planet can move on its own as long as other Earth-like mechanisms such as tectonics (which help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere) can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s a complex concept, full of caves. And if Venus is evidence that slow rotators can have a place to live, it is evidence that these elements are weak and durable. People who buy in the Way genre think what happened on Venus is a lot volcanic eruptions it filled the earth with carbon and converted the atmosphere into 96% carbon dioxide, more than anything a plate tectonics could provide.
And yet, it is a concept to be tested through DAVINCI + and VERITAS, because as Arney points out, most of the exoplanets we can find are the slow-moving orbits that revolve around small stars. Because these stars are so cold, planets often have to rotate their axis to get enough heat to hold water in place. If they make the clouds too high, they can save the weather. The only way we can find out now is if this idea is useful and to see if it happened on Venus.
But before we try to apply the Way method to other opoplanets, we need to know if they are referring to Venus. DAVINCI + will descend on Venus and will explore directly how it behaves in space, how it is formed on top of it. It has to collect the kind of data that tells us whether Venus was indeed wet in the past, as well as flesh in the history of its climate and whether a long cloud of earth could really exist.
The VERITAS orbiter asks questions of geological geography, photographing visual images through radar detection that can detect evidence of location or terrain patterns formed by precipitation or past tectonics. The most exciting would be the tessera: the crippled deforested areas that are thought to be the world’s oldest. If VERITAS sees evidence of ancient oceans – or at least of the rock formations that could have stabilized the world long ago – it would support the idea that some slow-moving exoplanets could do just that.
“Thinking about going together makes it a collaborative project,” says Lauren Jozwiak, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory who works at VERITAS. “The idea that you would like to make a map of the earth and explode in space has been at the heart of researching Venus,” says Jozwiak.
Finally, if Venus does not always exist, then the reason has to do with its proximity to the sun. That is why any exoplanet of similar size that is close to its star would probably be like Venus. And we would do well to take a closer look at exoplanets who are farther away from their stars.
On the other hand, if Venus had a winter before it became a permanent oven, it means we should take the “Venus-zone” exoplanets seriously, because they can still be inhabited. It also shows things like mountain tectonics and volcanic eruptions are very helpful in tackling the habitat, and we also need to find ways to explore these things in distant lands.
When we think seriously about what DAVINCI + and VERITAS can achieve, it seems like we are underestimating how we should be. The following missions “have changed the way we think about Venus and many planets,” says Jozwiak. “It’s an exciting time to know if Venus is the Earth of the Past and the Future.”