Venus is worth living today, if not for Jupiter

Venus is worth living today, if not for Jupiter

Combined images taken by the Japanese spacecraft Akatsuki of Venus. Credit: JXA / ISAS / Darts / Demia Boike

Venus probably wouldn’t be a superfluous, waterless hell if Jupiter didn’t change its orbit around the Sun, according to new research from UC Riverside.

Jupiter is a mass that is twice the mass of all the other planets in our solar system. Because it is comparatively large, it has the potential to disrupt the orbits of other planets.

At the beginning of Jupiter’s formation as a planet, it moved closer and then farther away from the Sun due to its interaction with the disk, from which planets as well as other giant planets are formed. Venus, in turn, was affected by this movement.

Observations of other planetary systems have shown that migration to the same massive planet immediately after formation may be a relatively common occurrence. These are the findings of a new study published in Journal of Planetary Science.

As we know, scientists consider planets that lack liquid water to be incapable of planning life. Although Venus may have lost some water as soon as possible for other reasons, and it may have continued, UCR astrobiologist Stephen Kane said Jupiter’s movement moved Venus on its way to its current, habitat position.

“One of the interesting things about today’s Venus is that its orbit is almost completely circular,” said Kane, who led the study. “With this project, I want to explore whether orbit has always been circular and if not, what is its implication?”

To answer these questions, Kane created a model that simulated the solar system, calculating the location of all the planets at any given time and how they pull each other in different directions.

Venus is worth living today, if not for Jupiter

The animation shows the peculiarities of the orbit of the inner planet and explains how round the orbit of Venus is. Credit: Chongcheng Hee

Scientists believe that the planet’s orbit is between 0, which is completely circular, and 1, which is not circular. The number between 0 and 1 is called orbital eccentricity. Orbitals with a depth of 1 will not be able to complete the orbit around the star; It will enter empty space, Kane said.

Currently, the orbit of Venus is measured at 0.006, which is the most circular of any planet in our solar system. However, Kane’s model shows that when Jupiter was close to the Sun about a billion years ago, the probability of Venus was 0.3. Was 0.3, and at that time it is much more likely to be inhabited.

“As Jupiter migrated, Venus would have undergone dramatic changes in the weather, cooled and lost more and more of its water in the atmosphere,” Kane said.

Recently, scientists discovered gas in the clouds above Venus and generated a lot of excitement that could indicate the presence of life. The gas, phosphine, is usually produced by microorganisms, and Kane says it is possible that the gas is “the last surviving species on the planet that has undergone dramatic changes in its atmosphere.”

However, Kane noted that the microbes in Venus would have had to maintain their presence in the sulfuric acid clouds above Venus for about a billion years, because Venus last had liquid water on the surface – difficult to imagine despite the impossible conditions.

“There are a lot of processes that can probably produce gas that hasn’t been discovered yet,” Kane said.

Finally, Kane says it’s important to understand what happened to Venus, a planet that was once possibly habitable and now has a temperature of 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

Kane said, “I focus on the difference between Venus and Earth, and what went wrong for Venus, so how can we make the Earth habitable, and do the best we can for the tide of this planet.” We can understand that. ”

Did Jupiter push Venus into the fugitive greenhouse?

More info:
Stephen R. Ken et al, Jupiter’s migration accelerated Venus’s atmospheric evolution ?, Journal of Planetary Science (2020). DOI: 10.3847 / PSJ / ABA 63

Given by the University of California – Riverside

Testimonial: Venus is habitable today, if not for Jupiter (2020, September 30) from September 30, 2020

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