Recently in the Venus Category

Venus As An Analog for Hot Earths

Here, we evaluate our nearest planetary neighbor, Venus, as an exemplar of the runaway greenhouse state that bounds the inner edge of the habitable zone. Despite its current hellish surface environment, Venus may once have been habitable with oceans of surface liquid water.

Mars has geological features that suggest it once had -- and still has -- subsurface liquid water, an almost sure prerequisite for life. Scientists have also eyed Saturn's moons Titan and Enceladus as well as Jupiter's moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto as possible havens for life in the oceans under their icy crusts.

Modeling Venus-Like Worlds Through Time

We explore the atmospheric and surface history of a hypothetical paleo-Venus climate using a 3-D General Circulation Model. We constrain our model with the in-situ and remote sensing Venus data available today.

The goals of the astrobiology community are focussed on developing a framework for the detection of biosignatures, or evidence thereof, on objects inside and outside of our solar system.

The Kepler mission has revealed that Earth-sized planets are common, and dozens have been discovered to orbit in or near their host star's habitable zone. A major focus in astronomy is to determine which of these exoplanets are likely to have Earth-like properties that are amenable to follow-up with both ground- and future space-based surveys, with an ultimate goal of probing their atmospheres to look for signs of life. Venus-like atmospheres will be of particular interest in these surveys.

Why are the terrestrial planets so different? Venus should be the most Earth-like of all our planetary neighbours. Its size, bulk composition and distance from the Sun are very similar to those of the Earth.

Present-day Venus is an inhospitable place with surface temperatures approaching 750K and an atmosphere over 90 times as thick as present day Earth's. Billions of years ago the picture may have been very different.

Why We Live on Earth and Not Venus

Compared to its celestial neighbours Venus and Mars, Earth is a pretty habitable place. So how did we get so lucky? A new study sheds light on the improbable evolutionary path that enabled Earth to sustain life.