29 Aug
Could Venus Have Once Been Habitable? Could Venus Have Once Been Habitable?

Could Venus Have Once Been Habitable?

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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.

The researchers believe that cloud cover would have protected the planet from the sun’s radiation for many years. However, if the planet’s rotation sped up slightly, that protection might not have been in place, perhaps explaining the sulfur dioxide-heavy environment seen on the planet today.

It’s highly unlikely Venus could ever again be habitable. However, by studying the reason for the planet’s evolution, scientists may be able to uncover facts that could help find more habitable stars in the solar system.

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Read 1591 times Last modified on Thursday, 18 August 2016 13:29
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on,, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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