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Will Venus End Up Like Earth?


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#1    CRYSiiSx2

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 10:59 PM

Firstly, I'm not sure if I'm suppose to make threads asking questions in this forum or if it's for news posts only.  I apologize in advance.  I was wondering, and never really have ever heard it talked about.  In millions and millions of years from now, could Venus ever calm down, stabilize, and cool enough to ever end up looking like Earth?  I'm sure there would be a problem with water, since I'm sure Earth got all it's water from the early solar system that had a lot more traffic.

So, just a thought.  Could Venus one day cool down and provide a hospitable atmosphere for life?  I have wondered about this for a long time.

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#2    Frank Merton

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 11:11 PM

To me the bigger possibility is that Earth could become like Venus if we should have a runaway accumulation of greenhouse gases.

There is lots of speculation about terraforming Mars, but hardly ever a glance at Venus.  The slow rotation speed would be a problem, but setting in train some sort of runaway chemistry that removes the carbon dioxide and some of the other baddies in the atmosphere, thereby also lowering the pressure and temperature, might conceivably make Venus marginally habitable.

I don't see any way it could happen naturally in a few million years, or even in a few billion years.  The sun is getting hotter, although so slowly it makes no difference in human terms.  Maybe someone has a different thought about that.


#3    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 11:12 PM

View PostCRYSiiSx2, on 14 September 2013 - 10:59 PM, said:

Firstly, I'm not sure if I'm suppose to make threads asking questions in this forum or if it's for news posts only.
The section is for anything astronomy related. Questions are fine, in fact They are great.

View PostCRYSiiSx2, on 14 September 2013 - 10:59 PM, said:

I was wondering, and never really have ever heard it talked about.  In millions and millions of years from now, could Venus ever calm down, stabilize, and cool enough to ever end up looking like Earth?  I'm sure there would be a problem with water, since I'm sure Earth got all it's water from the early solar system that had a lot more traffic.

So, just a thought.  Could Venus one day cool down and provide a hospitable atmosphere for life?  I have wondered about this for a long time.

Venus can never look like Earth does now, even if it cooled (and I've not come across any predictions that it will). Venus is so hot that lead and tin would melt at it's surface. This temperature is so high (over 460oC) that most of Venus' water has been driven off. If it was to cool the planet would be dry, desiccated by billions of years of extreme heat.

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#4    DieChecker

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 02:12 AM

I think the only way Venus is ever going to look like Earth is if we Engineer it to be that way.

It is too close in with too much atmosphere to naturally cool down on it's own. Unless something drastic, like a gigantic comet or something like that was to  hit it, and plow off a lot of the atmosphere. IMHO.

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#5    krypter3

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 03:41 AM

To close, to hot.


#6    Frank Merton

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 03:49 AM

I think the issue of water could be solved a couple of ways, but it would be hard.  I don't think Venus is too close (as I understand it Venus is at the inner edge of the so-called habitability zone).
The extremely slow rotation and corresponding lack of magnetic field might also be correctable, but planet moving (as we have come to understand happens more than we use to imagine) is pretty much what it would involve.


#7    spacecowboy342

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:47 AM

I think Fran Merton made a good point and I worry more that earth could have a runaway greenhouse effect


#8    krypter3

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:21 AM

Earth will end up like venus.


#9    sepulchrave

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 10:52 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 15 September 2013 - 03:49 AM, said:

I think the issue of water could be solved a couple of ways, but it would be hard.  I don't think Venus is too close (as I understand it Venus is at the inner edge of the so-called habitability zone).
The extremely slow rotation and corresponding lack of magnetic field might also be correctable, but planet moving (as we have come to understand happens more than we use to imagine) is pretty much what it would involve.

I agree. I personally think Venus is the most appropriate planet for terraforming.

It might be possible at our current technology (with enough money, obviously) to divert the trajectories of comets so they smash into Venus. A comet collision could simultaneously:
  • Add water,
  • Disrupt the greenhouse gas clouds to let heat vent quickly to space,
  • Possibly crack the largely solid crust to encourage volcanoes and other important geological processes, and
  • Possibly speed up the planet's rotation (if we aim the comets just right).

But other than some giant impact shaking things up, I agree with the other posters that Venus will never end up like Earth.

Even if it cools down a lot, there is no free oxygen (it is all in CO2) and no free water (it was all stripped away) for life to evolve.


#10    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:58 AM

Venus has volcanoes which may be active (see HERE).

I would think of the points that sepulchrave makes, increasing the rotation of the planet would be the hardest to achieve.

Reducing greenhouse gases could be achieved in less drastic form than massive impacts. Genetically engineered life forms could be seeded into the upper atmosphere which would convert CO[sub}2[/sub] in O2.

Of course this is all science fiction at the moment, but who knows when we will be able to terraform planets?

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#11    spacecowboy342

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:19 PM

View Postsepulchrave, on 16 September 2013 - 10:52 AM, said:


I agree. I personally think Venus is the most appropriate planet for terraforming.

It might be possible at our current technology (with enough money, obviously) to divert the trajectories of comets so they smash into Venus. A comet collision could simultaneously:
  • Add water,
  • Disrupt the greenhouse gas clouds to let heat vent quickly to space,
  • Possibly crack the largely solid crust to encourage volcanoes and other important geological processes, and
  • Possibly speed up the planet's rotation (if we aim the comets just right).

But other than some giant impact shaking things up, I agree with the other posters that Venus will never end up like Earth.

Even if it cools down a lot, there is no free oxygen (it is all in CO2) and no free water (it was all stripped away) for life to evolve.
Wouldn't it take something quite a bit more massive than a comet to appreciably affect Venus' rotation?


#12    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:27 PM

View Postspacecowboy342, on 16 September 2013 - 11:19 PM, said:

Wouldn't it take something quite a bit more massive than a comet to appreciably affect Venus' rotation?

I would think it would take rather a lot, but then it would take rather a lot to bring enough water to produce oceans.

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#13    spacecowboy342

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:33 PM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 16 September 2013 - 11:27 PM, said:

I would think it would take rather a lot, but then it would take rather a lot to bring enough water to produce oceans.
Good point. Could you really foresee genetically engineered life forms that could survive in Venus' upper atmosphere? I know the temps at the surface are severe but presumably not at the upper levels of the atmosphere.How much do we know about the composition of the upper atmosphere?


#14    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 12:00 AM

View Postspacecowboy342, on 16 September 2013 - 11:33 PM, said:

How much do we know about the composition of the upper atmosphere?

A fair bit. Both Russian and American probes have descended through the atmosphere and orbiters have studied the planet from above.

The European Space Agency Venus Express orbiter has been studying the Venusian atmosphere continuously since 2006.

View Postspacecowboy342, on 16 September 2013 - 11:33 PM, said:

Could you really foresee genetically engineered life forms that could survive in Venus' upper atmosphere?
I'll be honest with you I did until a few minutes ago when I did a little more research, after all it was a method proposed by the late, great Carl Sagan.

It seems I'm a bit out of date on this idea though:

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A method proposed in 1961 by Carl Sagan involves the use of genetically engineered bacteria to fix carbon into organic forms. Although this method is still commonly proposed in discussions of Venus terraforming, later discoveries showed it would not be successful. The production of organic molecules from carbon dioxide requires an input of hydrogen, which on Earth is taken from its abundant supply of water but which is nearly nonexistent on Venus. Since Venus lacks a magnetic field, the upper atmosphere is exposed to direct erosion by solar wind and has lost most of its original hydrogen to space.
Source: Wikipedia

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#15    DieChecker

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 02:44 AM

View Postspacecowboy342, on 16 September 2013 - 11:19 PM, said:

Wouldn't it take something quite a bit more massive than a comet to appreciably affect Venus' rotation?
Supposedly there are millions of comets out in the Oort Cloud around the Solar System, so the water is there for the dropping. Given that we develop enough to move the comets anyway.

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