A new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy suggests so Venus It may have undergone tectonic plate movements similar to those believed to have occurred on early Earth. According to researchers, This raises the possibility that this scorching planet may have harbored life in the ancient past. This discovery may also provide clues about the origin of the solar system.
Life on Venus?
Using atmospheric data from Venus and computer modeling, the team led by Brown University scientists shows that the composition of the planet’s current atmosphere and surface pressure was only possible as a result of an early form of plate tectonics. These blocks are part of a process crucial to the existence of life. It involves several continental plates pushing, pulling, and sliding under each other.
On Earth, this process intensified over billions of years, forming new continents and mountains, and leading to chemical reactions that stabilized the planet’s surface temperature. This created a more suitable environment for the development of life. Venus, on the other hand, went in the opposite direction, and today its surface has temperatures high enough to melt lead.
Researchers have previously attributed Venus’ heat to what is known as a “stagnant mantle.” This means that Its surface will be just one panel with minimal movement Gases emitted into the atmosphere. But the new study suggests that wasn’t always the case.
To explain the abundance of nitrogen and carbon dioxide in Venus’ atmosphere, researchers concluded that the planet must have had plate tectonics sometime after its formation, about 4.5 billion years ago. This reinforces the possibility that microbial life existed in Venus’ distant past. It appears that at a certain point, this planet and Earth (which are in the same solar neighborhood, are roughly the same size and have the same mass, density and volume) were more similar than previously thought.
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