The surface of the Moon can be covered by rocks that came from Venus – which could make it easier to study our infernal planetary neighbor.
Billions of years ago, say Yale astronomers, asteroids and comets that impacted Venus could have dislodged pieces of the planet’s surface and sent their hulls through the stars.
If they did, CNET reports, then it is possible that some of these meteorites on Venus headed for Earth or the Moon, providing easier access to evidence on a planet where recent discoveries suggest that extraterrestrial life may be hidden.
It is a rather speculative work, which the authors acknowledge in their research, which has been accepted for publication in the Planetary Science Journal. But the two astronomers behind the paper suggest that it’s worth paying attention to, given the ability to get material from Venus without having to go there.
“The moon offers the safe preservation of these ancient rocks,” study co-author Samuel Cabot said in a statement. Press release. “Any of Venus that landed on Earth is probably buried very deep, due to geological activity. These rocks would be much better preserved on the moon.
Researchers rely on more than random luck. They claim that the gravitational attractions of the Earth and the Moon would be more than enough to attract meteorites from Venus.
“An ancient fragment of Venus would contain a lot of information,” co-author Gregory Laughlin said in a statement. “The history of the planet Venus is closely linked to important topics in planetary science, including the past influx of asteroids and comets, the atmospheric histories of the inner planets and the abundance of liquid water,” he added. If these aspects were elucidated, we could be closer to the answer to the question “is there life on Venus?”.