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Was Venus the first habitable world of our solar system?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Observational Astronomy. NASA, Goddard Inst Space Studies, New York, NY 10025 USA..
NASA, Goddard Inst Space Studies, New York, NY 10025 USA..
NASA, Goddard Inst Space Studies, New York, NY 10025 USA..
NASA, Goddard Inst Space Studies, New York, NY 10025 USA.;Columbia Univ, Ctr Climate Syst Res, New York, NY USA..
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2016 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 43, no 16, 8376-8383 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Present-day Venus is an inhospitable place with surface temperatures approaching 750K and an atmosphere 90 times as thick as Earth's. Billions of years ago the picture may have been very different. We have created a suite of 3-D climate simulations using topographic data from the Magellan mission, solar spectral irradiance estimates for 2.9 and 0.715 Gya, present-day Venus orbital parameters, an ocean volume consistent with current theory, and an atmospheric composition estimated for early Venus. Using these parameters we find that such a world could have had moderate temperatures if Venus had a prograde rotation period slower than similar to 16 Earth days, despite an incident solar flux 46-70% higher than Earth receives. At its current rotation period, Venus's climate could have remained habitable until at least 0.715 Gya. These results demonstrate the role rotation and topography play in understanding the climatic history of Venus-like exoplanets discovered in the present epoch.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 43, no 16, 8376-8383 p.
Keyword [en]
ancient Venus, habitability
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology Geophysics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-307302DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069790ISI: 000384443800006OAI: diva2:1046017
Available from: 2016-11-11 Created: 2016-11-11 Last updated: 2017-02-21Bibliographically approved

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