Monday, 29 August 2016 00:00

Could Venus Have Once Been Habitable?

Many assume Earth was the first habitable planet in the solar system, with one or two other planets potentially someday following. However, new research shows that Earth may not have been the first habitable planet. Venus, with its similar size and gravity to Earth, may have been livable before Earth and remained so for billions of years.

Using models, a team of researchers has been able to use computer simulation to show how Venus would have evolved with Earth’s atmosphere, since its water reserves were also likely similar to our planet’s. The team discovered that Venus’s spin likely was closely connected to its demise. Venus’s spin is significantly slower than the Earth’s, which would have caused surface temperatures to increase quickly.

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The world has long been at odds over whether life exists outside of Earth. Science waits for proof, while consumers have their own beliefs. A new study may cause the world to rethink the concept of the universe.

A new study in Astrobiology exposes the likelihood that life may have existed in the universe prior to the 10,000 years Earth’s population has been in existence. Citing newly-obtained data, Adam Frank and Woodruff Sullivan reformulated a long-existing formula that calculates the probability that life exists outside our planet. They instead used the formula to determine whether life has ever existed before our species began.

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Thursday, 21 April 2016 00:00

Theories About the Beginnings of Life

While life began on our planet some 3 billion years ago, it's still not entirely clear as to how Earth's first organisms grew from the "primordial soup."

LiveScience profiled a handful of theories about how life on Earth started. Among the findings:

  • It Took a Spark: As in a bolt of lightning. The spark from a lightning strike could have produced sugars and amino acids from an atmosphere containing ammonia, water, hydrogen, and water. And, over the next several million years, volcanic clouds could have held some of those same materials and been charged by lightning.
  • Salt of the Earth: Earth's first molecules could have encountered one another on clay, says one organic chemist, who theorizes that mineral crystals in clay could have made organic molecules into structures patterns. And then, the molecules eventually did that all by themselves...which conjures images of rogue, alien molecules invading patches of earthly clay.
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