NASA: Ancient Venus may have been downright habitable


#Venus #NASANASA: Ancient Venus may have been downright habitable : For a 2-billion-year-long span, ending about 715 million years ago, Venus was likely a much more pleasant spot that it is today. To observe Venus now is to witness a dry and toxic hellscape, where the planet heats up to a scorching 864 degrees Fahrenheit.

A super-strong electric wind is believed to suck the smallest traces of water into space. With apologies to Ian Malcolm, life as we know it could not find a way. But travel back in time a few billion years or so.

Ancient Venus, according to a new computer model from NASA, would have been prime solar system real estate, to the point it may have been downright habitable. That life would find Venus amenable hinges on two main factors.

Venus would have needed much balmier temperatures, and it also would have needed a liquid ocean – which is a significant if, though elemental traces like deuterium indicate water existed on Venus at one point.

As Colin Wilson, an Oxford University planetary physicist told Time in 2010, “everything points to there being large amounts of water in the past.” Venusian temperatures, too, appear to have been far cooler when the solar system was younger.