The Planet Venus

EnolaGaia

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This is odd and interesting ... Newly reported modeling research suggests Venus' hellish environmental conditions are Jupiter's fault.
Venus Might Have Been a Temperate Habitable World if It Wasn't For Jupiter

Venus might not have been the sweltering, inhospitable planet of acidic clouds and desert rock that it is today if it hadn't been for the interference of Jupiter, according to new research.

In fact, our neighbouring planet could have turned out to be quite temperate and habitable. The new study proposes that the gravitational pull of Jupiter pushed Venus closer to the Sun, creating a runaway greenhouse effect and vaporising surface oceans.

Scientists used a computer model to track the position of planets across the Solar System, revealing that as Jupiter moved away from the Sun about a billion years ago, it would have nudged Venus into the almost perfect circular orbit that it has today.

"As Jupiter migrated, Venus would have gone through dramatic changes in climate, heating up then cooling off and increasingly losing its water into the atmosphere," says astrobiologist Stephen Kane from the University of California, Riverside. ...

FULL STORY:
https://www.sciencealert.com/venus-...rate-habitable-world-if-it-wasn-t-for-jupiter
 

EnolaGaia

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Here are the bibliographic details and abstract of the published research. The full research paper is accessible at the link below.

Could the Migration of Jupiter Have Accelerated the Atmospheric Evolution of Venus?
Stephen R. Kane, Pam Vervoort, Jonathan Horner and Francisco J. Pozuelos
Published 2020 September 4 • © 2020.
The Planetary Science Journal, Volume 1, Number 2

Abstract
In the study of planetary habitability and terrestrial atmospheric evolution, the divergence of surface conditions for Venus and Earth remains an area of active research. Among the intrinsic and external influences on the Venusian climate history are orbital changes due to giant planet migration that have both variable incident flux and tidal heating consequences. Here, we present the results of a study that explores the effect of Jupiter's location on the orbital parameters of Venus and subsequent potential water-loss scenarios. Our dynamical simulations show that various scenarios of Jovian migration could have resulted in orbital eccentricities for Venus as high as 0.31. We quantify the implications of the increased eccentricity, including tidal energy, surface energy flux, and the variable insolation flux expected from the faint young Sun. The tidal circularization timescale calculations demonstrate that a relatively high tidal dissipation factor is required to reduce the eccentricity of Venus to the present value, which implies a high initial water inventory. We further estimate the consequences of high orbital eccentricity on water loss, and estimate that the water-loss rate may have increased by at least ~5% compared with the circular orbit case as a result of orbital forcing. We argue that these eccentricity variations for the young Venus may have accelerated the atmospheric evolution of Venus toward the inevitable collapse of the atmosphere into a runaway greenhouse state. The presence of giant planets in exoplanetary systems may likewise increase the expected rate of Venus analogs in those systems.

FULL ARTICLE Accessible At:
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/PSJ/abae63
 

EnolaGaia

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The amino acid glycine has allegedly been detected in Venus' atmosphere. Glycine is the simplest amino acid participating in our DNA, but it is no a sure-fire biosignature.
Astronomers Report That Venus' Atmosphere Contains an Amino Acid Found in DNA

Does it feel like all eyes are on Venus these days? The discovery of the potential biomarker phosphine in the planet's upper atmosphere last month garnered a lot of attention, as it should. There's still some uncertainty around what the phosphine discovery means, though.

Now a team of researchers claims they've discovered the amino acid glycine in Venus' atmosphere.

The paper announcing the finding ... is at the pre-print site arxiv.org, which means it hasn't been peer-reviewed and published in a journal… yet.

There are about 500 known amino acids, but only 20 are present in the genetic code. Glycine is the simplest of them.

Though glycine and other amino acids aren't biosignatures, they are some of the building blocks of life. In fact, they're the building blocks of proteins. They were also some of the first organic molecules to appear on Earth. Glycine is important for the development of proteins and other biological compounds. ...

FULL STORY:
https://www.sciencealert.com/astron...n-amino-acid-found-in-dna-in-venus-atmosphere

RESEARCH REPORT (Preprint; In Peer Review Phase):
Detection of simplest amino acid glycine in the atmosphere of the Venus
Arijit Manna, Sabyasachi Pal, Mangal Hazra

Abstract available at:
https://arxiv.org/abs/2010.06211
 

ramonmercado

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Sadly it may not be so. I long for the swamps and seas of Venus in the old SF stories.

The announcement in September took the world by storm: Researchers using two radio telescopes found signs that the clouds of Venus were harboring phosphine, a toxic compound that on Earth is only made in significant quantities by microbes and chemists.

The unexpectedly high levels detected on Venus could point to a floating microbial biosphere, the researchers suggested in a paper published in Nature Astronomy. But almost immediately, other astronomers began to criticize the results, with four independent studies pointing out questionable methods or failing to reproduce the results.

Now, after reanalyzing their data, the original proponents are downgrading their claims. Even the most favorable interpretation of their data now suggests phosphine levels are at least seven times lower than first reported, making it a much more tentative finding, the authors reported in a preprint posted on 17 November to arXiv. But the team still believes the gas is there, with the possibility that local pockets rise to higher levels, said Jane Greaves, an astronomer at Cardiff University who led the work, in a talk today to NASA’s Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG). “We have again a phosphine line.” ...

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/202...g-astronomers-downgrade-their-original-claims
 

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Science moves forward, but also takes strange turns left, right, and even moves backwards when the data isn't repeatable. There is still a chance there is, or was, life on Venus and I'd love to know either way.
 

EnolaGaia

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... Researchers using two radio telescopes found signs that the clouds of Venus were harboring phosphine, a toxic compound that on Earth is only made in significant quantities by microbes and chemists. ...
Now, after reanalyzing their data, the original proponents are downgrading their claims. ...

Update ... The prospective amount of phosphine detected in Venus' atmosphere was significantly reduced as a result of further analysis. Now, additional review and analysis suggests there wasn't any phosphine at all ...
Purported Phosphine – An Indicator of Life – On Venus More Likely to Be Ordinary Sulfur Dioxide

In September, a team led by astronomers in the United Kingdom announced that they had detected the chemical phosphine in the thick clouds of Venus. The team’s reported detection, based on observations by two Earth-based radio telescopes, surprised many Venus experts. Earth’s atmosphere contains small amounts of phosphine, which may be produced by life. Phosphine on Venus generated buzz that the planet, often succinctly touted as a “hellscape,” could somehow harbor life within its acidic clouds.

Since that initial claim, other science teams have cast doubt on the reliability of the phosphine detection. Now, a team led by researchers at the University of Washington has used a robust model of the conditions within the atmosphere of Venus to revisit and comprehensively reinterpret the radio telescope observations underlying the initial phosphine claim. As they report in a paper accepted to the Astrophysical Journal, the U.K.-led group likely wasn’t detecting phosphine at all.

“Instead of phosphine in the clouds of Venus, the data are consistent with an alternative hypothesis: They were detecting sulfur dioxide,” said co-author Victoria Meadows, a UW professor of astronomy. “Sulfur dioxide is the third-most-common chemical compound in Venus’ atmosphere, and it is not considered a sign of life.”

FULL STORY: https://scitechdaily.com/purported-...us-more-likely-to-be-ordinary-sulfur-dioxide/
 

Ermintruder

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That's annoying. No, it is not a sign of (conventional) life.

And I find it very ironic that my most-favourite star (the beautiful morning / evening messenger of the twilight skies) has an atmosphere composed of horrible-old SO2, one of the many past lab accident reagents that I've unwillingly (and intimately) encountered.

I probably only breathed-up a tiny amount (a pressurised cannister vented explosively) but enough to empirically-confirm that it does appear to become H2SO4 in solution....(I'm probably needing just a bite from a radioactive spider to complete my already-extensive pathogenic dance card)
 

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Scientists have found tectonic activity on Venus.

"Scientists have found evidence parts of Venus's surface move around like pieces of continent on Earth.

And while this activity is probably not driven by plate tectonics, as on Earth, it could be a "cousin" of that process.

The findings fit an emerging picture of a planet very much alive, in contrast to the traditional view of Venus.

Europe is launching a spacecraft, EnVision, to radar-map and gather spectroscopic measurements of the planet's surface and atmosphere."

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-57567577
 

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The clouds on Venus are too dry to support life.

"It's not possible for life to exist in the clouds of Venus.

It's simply too dry, says an international research team led from Queen's University Belfast, UK.

Hopes had been raised last year that microbes might inhabit the Venusian atmosphere, given the presence there of the gas phosphine (PH3).

It was suggested the concentration could not be explained by geological activity alone. But the new Belfast study puts a dampener on this idea"

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-57641247
 

EnolaGaia

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Newly published research claims Venus was always too hot to permit liquid water to collect on its surface.
Life on Venus may never have been possible

Venus was always too hot for oceans, a new study suggests.

Venus may not be such a tantalizing target for alien hunters after all.

In recent years, researchers have increasingly come to regard Venus, the second rock from the sun, as a potential abode for life. For example, modeling studies have suggested that ancient Venus had big oceans and a clement climate that might have persisted for several billion years.

Venus is famously hellish today, of course; its surface is bone-dry and hot enough to melt lead. But some scientists have argued that Venus life, if it ever existed, could persist there still, floating in the clouds about 30 miles (50 kilometers) up, where temperatures and pressures are similar to what we enjoy at sea level here on Earth.

A new study throws some cold water onto such hopes, however. ...

The previous, life-friendly modeling work determined that the planet cooled down enough to host liquid surface water thanks in large part to clouds, which bounced a lot of solar radiation back into space. The "faint young sun" was a contributing factor as well; in the early days of the solar system, our star was just 70% as luminous as it is now.

In the new study, which was published online Wednesday (Oct. 13) in the journal Nature, scientists led by Martin Turbet, a postdoctoral researcher at the Geneva Astronomical Observatory in Switzerland, simulated the climate of ancient Venus using a new model. And they came up with very different results.

Turbet and his team found that conditions on young Venus likely limited clouds to the planet's nightside, where they were worse than useless as far as the establishment of life is concerned. (Venus isn't tidally locked to the sun, so it doesn't have a permanent nightside; the term here refers to whatever hemisphere happens to be facing away from the sun at the time.)

Not only did these clouds bounce no sunlight away, they actually warmed Venus via a greenhouse effect, trapping lots of heat. So Venus never cooled down enough for rain to fall, and for rivers, lakes and oceans to form. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/venus-never-habitable-no-oceans
See Also: https://www.sciencealert.com/there-s-no-way-venus-could-ever-have-had-oceans-new-research-finds

FULL RESEARCH REPORT: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03873-w
 

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