The U.S. and European space administrations in turn announced that they would send spacecraft to Venus. A hot planet can reveal how climate change is evolving into a catastrophe.
Neighboring planet Venus is interested again.
First, the U.S. space agency Nasa said in early June that it would send two probes to Venus in the next few years.
Thursday in Europe space agency Esa announced that he would follow suit. The European Envision spacecraft is set to orbit Venus in the early 2030s.
Nasan Davinci + and Veritas probes will be sent to Venus in 2028 and 2030.
Planetary scientists have long lamented that our near – Earth – sized neighboring planet – and the brightest object in the night sky after the Moon – has received little attention for decades.
Even distant Pluto is now better known than the planet right next to us.
Throughout the 21st century, Nasa has invested heavily in the study of Mars. It last took a sonar to orbit Venus in the late 1980s.
Venus only goes around this batch Japanese Akatsuki sonar, which measures a thick and carbon dioxide atmosphere.
Why Venus then interests planetary scientists right now?
One reason is the greenhouse phenomenon that unleashed Venus. Our neighbor is like a screaming warning sign of the greenhouse effect.
The surface temperature rises in places up to 470 degrees. Lead also melts in that heat. The air pressure on the hot crust of Venus is about 90 times that of Earth.
So there is hardly any life on the surface of Venus. Even the sonar that got to the surface has faded in hours.
Venus however, according to planetary scientists, it was once very different.
The planet had a mild climate and oceans, rivers and streams on the surface. Some believe that Venus was in a habitable pattern for humans – though perhaps more than a billion years ago.
For about 700 million years, the greenhouse phenomenon crossed the point of swing and got off to a good start. One reason was the constant gas-spitting volcanoes or otherwise increased cloudiness. Venus entered a spiral of the greenhouse effect from which there was no return.
Phenomenon it is, of course, to be avoided on Earth. The detailed path of Venus to hellish conditions can be survived with the help of sonar. We need more information about the planet’s atmosphere and surface, perhaps even the moving continents of Venus.
Volcanoes are also of interest. As many as 1,600 have been counted on the surface of Venus. The purpose is to find out if anyone is still spitting lava and various gases such as sulfuric acid on the surface.
Exploring the differences between Venus and Earth is the key to understanding how planets in general evolve and in particular: how do viable conditions evolve?
The data from the three probes may explain how Venus became so different from Earth, a Nassa scientist Tom Wagner said Thursday the space administration in the bulletin.
Venus clouds are also of interest. At altitudes above 50 kilometers, the temperature of the clouds is a comfortable 25 degrees, and atmospheric pressures are not a burden. On some floors, however, the wind swims up to 700 kilometers per hour.
Equally, it is possible for primitive microbes to hover in Venus ’bustling atmosphere. Last year, a group of astronomers reported that Venus was cloudy phosphine would have been found, one of the building blocks of known life. The discovery could not be confirmed or rejected – yet.
Venus also has enigmatic areas that are said tesseraei. They are considered the equivalent of the continents of the Earth.
Tesseraet is possibly the oldest terrain in Venus. European Envision and other probes are trying to determine their composition.
“If they have basalt rock, it would mean that quite a bit of magma has spread all over the surface of Venus,” a member of Esa’s sonar group Philippe Mason said the British Broadcasting Corporation To the BBC.
If there are many types of rocks on the surfaces, it suggests that sometimes there was water in the mantle of Venus as well. On Earth, for example, a rock type of granite is formed in wet magma, Mason said.
At the same time, it would become clear whether and whether Venus still had moving continental plates, as on Earth. On Earth, the movement and rotation of continental plates also regulates the climate.
Read more: Nasa will send two probes to Venus in 2028–2030