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Habitability Timeline of Venus: Past and Present
  • Vishnu Sangli
Vishnu Sangli

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Venus is commonly known as the beautiful Evening Star of the night sky. Despite its bulk composition and size being similar (Interior ESI 0.98) to those of Earth, Venus is an extremely hot and dry planet, with temperatures ranging from 630 - 740K. With the current physical conditions, a potential areal biosphere could exist on the sulphuric acid-dominated clouds, providing moderate temperatures and pressures due to high altitudes. A theorised Iron or Sulphur metabolism could support exotic life in these extremely acidic (pH 0) conditions. The past habitability for regular life could be connected to the present habitability for exotic life through possible evolution, extending the possible Habitability timeline. Due to its smaller orbital distance (0.7 AU), Venus could have been the first habitable planet in the solar system, with optimistic models showing that Venus may have had a complex atmosphere and a liquid ocean for around 2 billion years, before the moist runaway greenhouse effect transformed the planet. High values for the D/H ratio and carbon abundance, combined with Venus’s slow rotation rate indicate the potential for biological life developing in Past Venus’s possible Earth-like conditions. These models were analysed from a perspective of Habitability, along with probable evolution into the present exotic life.