As stars like our sun age, they steadily grow brighter. So back then Venus was firmly planted in the habitable zone , the region of the solar system that can support liquid water on the surface of a planet without it being too hot or too cold. But as the sun aged, that habitable zone steadily moved outward. And as Venus approached the inner edge of that zone, things started to go haywire. As the temperatures rose on Venus, the oceans began to evaporate, dumping a lot of water vapor into the atmosphere. This water vapor was very good at trapping heat , which further increased the surface temperatures, which caused the oceans to evaporate even more, which caused even more water vapor to get in the atmosphere, which trapped even more heat, and so on and so on as things spiraled out of control.
Eventually, Venus became a runaway greenhouse with all the water dumped into the atmosphere trapping as much heat as possible, with the surface temperatures continuing to skyrocket. The liquid water that had been on the surface helped keep the tectonic plates nice and flexible, in a sense adding lubrication to the process of plate tectonics.
But without the oceans, plate activity ground to a halt, locking the surface of Venus in place. Plate tectonics play a crucial role in regulating the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Essentially, carbon binds to elements in dirt and rocks, and those dirt and rocks eventually get buried far beneath the surface over the course of millions of years as the plates rub up against each other and sink below each other. But without this process, carbon that was locked in the dirt just slowly outgassed or dumped out in massive volcanic events.
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So, once the oceans evaporated, the carbon problem on Venus became even worse with nothing to sequester it. Over time, the water vapor in the atmosphere got hit by enough sunlight to break it apart, sending the hydrogen into space, with all that mass being replaced by carbon dioxide rising up out of the surface.
The atmosphere might even have had enough drag to literally slow down the rotation of Venus itself, giving it its present-day sluggish rates. Once this process was complete, which probably took million years or so, the potential for any life on Venus was snuffed out. And here's the worst part about the story of Earth's twisted sister. This is our fate, too. Our sun isn't done aging, and as it grows older, it grows brighter, with the habitable zone steadily and inexorably moving outward. At some point within the next few hundred million years, the Earth itself will approach the inner edge of the habitable zone.
Observing a temporary chronological disturbance based on a sudden instability in Sol in caused by the Eleven 's stolen stellar manipulator , the Time Lords noted Sol II among the first three planets in the solar system to be in immediate danger. In the s , Professor Logan claimed to have planned and executed a manned mission to Venus, but this was exposed as a fraud.
Venus Could Have Supported Life for Billions of Years
Rudolph Steiner devised the Gemini Plan to bring Venus into Earth's orbit, allowing the planet's mineral resources to be economically available. This plan, which would have led to the destruction of Earth, was thwarted by the Third Doctor and Murray Stevens. The Transit of Venus occured in Wilf was certain that humanity would get there one day, and that in a hundred years time, they'd be "striding out amongst the stars, jiggling about with all them aliens ". During Zoe Heriot 's time, human scientists found flowers living on the planet.
Space Station W3 had some aboard. Around the year , the Eighth Doctor and Charley Pollard found Aristede , an artist prepared to crash his craft into the planet as an artistic statement. By , there was a human colony on Venus. Captain Anastas Thrax and his space pirates hijacked supply ships en route there until he was defeated by the First Doctor , John and Gillian. In the s , Lovell Platform orbited Venus, and the Genetrix probed its atmosphere.
The Wispies were nearly killed by the Genetrix 's atmospheric sifters , and the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald had to save its crew and the Wispies. When Mars was only just being colonised, Venus had the large city of New Paris and the largest oil reserves after Earth. The Stone family — Mary , Jeff and Andy — were residents. The Daleks invaded the solar system, targeting Venus as a way to outflank Earth and capture the needed oil; New Paris was devastated and the inhabitants enslaved, all bar the Stones who had been in the Churchill Mountains.
Also in the 23rd century, Iris Wildthyme and Panda attended a Venusian opera. Venus was used as a rubbish dump for a time.
Humans tried to terraform the planet and the whole atmosphere boiled away into space. The Fourth Doctor had a pilot's license for the Mars-Venus rocket run. Bernice Summerfield visited Eros , the artificial moon of Venus. At the time, Eros had a twin moon, the warlike Thanatos. In the late 40th century, Venus was among the " Big Four " powers in an alliance against the Dalek invasions. In the year , Venus was one of the key targets for the Dalek takeover of the Solar system.
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The first images returned from the surface of another world were sent from the Soviet Venera 9 lander after it touched down in And the Venera 13 lander was the first spacecraft to return sounds from the surface of another world. However, one proposal to measure the composition of the Venus surface was selected for further technology development. Some 30 years after NASA set course for our hellish neighbor, the future of Venus exploration looks promising.
Rather, a sustained program of exploration is needed to bring our knowledge of Venus to where we understand it as well as Mars or the Moon. And, under an ever-brightening Sun, Venus may even help us understand the fate of Earth itself. You can read us daily by subscribing to our newsletter. Paul K. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
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