Scientists Find Venus Was Home to Vast Oceans of Liquid Water That May Have Supported Life

Scientists have found that Venus had a climate suitable for life.

Billions of years, ago, Venus, one of Earth’s neighboring planet was home to vast oceans of liquid water, scientists have found.

But then, the sun’s gravity eventually forced the planet to nearly come to a full stop and stop rotating, which created a toxic atmosphere filled with greenhouse gasses.

Venus compared to Earth. WikiImages / Pixabay

Now, the temperatures on Venus can reach more than 450°C thanks to its atmosphere.

Scientists found that the vast oceans on Venus were most likely life-friendly.

But the gravity of the sun ‘pulled’ on the massive oceans on the surface and slowed down the rotation of planet and greenhouse gassed eventually formed thick clouds that heated the planet, according to Michael Way, from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center who led the new research.

Venus soon became the hottest planet in our solar system.

Venus: an extremely slow rotator

Oceans evaporate as the planet continued to warm which in turn made it spinning a lot slower until Venus reached its current pace of one rotation every 243 days, which is slower than any other planet in the solar system.

With new data, experts believe Venus was a lot like Earth in the distant past.

Advertisement

Water on a celestial body is greatly influenced b the gravitational pull off planets, moons, and even stars.

On Earth, our planet’s tides are greatly influenced by the Moon.

Venus, on the other hand, does not have a moon. But it has a much more significant body that plays around with its tides: the sun.

This means that tides on Venus would be much stronger than on Earth. This pull would have been greatly responsible for slowing down the spin of the planet. In fact, scientists calculated that Venus’ spin slowed down as much as five days every million years.

Based on the data, it is estimated that it took Venus less than 50 million years to reach its current spin.

Speaking to New Scientist, Dr. Way explained: “Venus stays very cool because the clouds are blocking that solar radiation.”