Currently, Venus is characterized as an extremely hot and inhospitable planet, in which it is impossible to find a single drop of water. However, it seems that the particularities of this body could have been different if Jupiter hadn’t altered its orbit around the sun, or that’s what the new research from the University of California Riverside.
The planets that have a mass as great as that of Jupiter, which is two and a half times greater than that of the rest of those that make up our solar system, they have the ability to disturb the orbits of other stars. And that was how, at the beginning of their training, it approached and then moved away from the sun, affecting Venus.
Scientists believe that planets lacking liquid water, such as Venus, are incapable of supporting life as we know it. However, it seems that this body is not that it does not have H2O, but that may have lost it at first for other reasons, and may have continued to do so, because of Jupiter, as the Riverside astrobiologist has explained, Stephen Kane.
Para Kane, “one of the interesting things about Venus today is that its orbit is almost perfectly circular “ and, therefore, “with this project, I wanted to explore whether the orbit has always been circular.” To do this, he created a model that simulated the solar system, calculating the location of all the planets at any given time and how they attract each other in different directions.
In this way, he came to the conclusion that, today, Venus’ orbit is measured at 0.006, which means it is the most circular of any planet in the solar system. However, when Jupiter was probably closest to the sun about a billion years ago, Venus probably had an eccentricity of 0.3, and there is a much higher probability that it was habitable then.
Another important fact to know the development of Venus is that, recently, a gas was discovered among the planet’s clouds that may indicate the presence of life. The gas, known as phosphine, is typically produced by microbes, and, for Kane, it may represent “the last surviving species on a planet that went through a dramatic change in its environment”.
Now, for that to be the case, the scientist points out that the microbes would have had to maintain their presence in the sulfuric acid clouds on Venus for about a billion years since the last time it had liquid water on the surface.