NASA will return to Venus as the temperature reaches 470 degrees: will they find life?

Venus hides a wealth of information that can help us better understand Earth and exoplanets (Image: NASA)

The NASA Choose from errands, call Da Vinci+ and Truth, honestyto study the world,Lost habitable” from Venus. Every mission you will receive 500 million dollars To develop it and both are expected to be launched between 2028 and 2030.

For a long time it was believed that there is no life on Venus, due to the extremely high temperatures. But at the end of last year Scientists studying the planet’s atmosphere have announced the surprising (and somewhat controversial) discovery of phosphine. On Earth, this chemical is primarily produced by living creatures.

The news sparked a renewed interest in Earth’s “twin”, prompting NASAا Planning next generation missions to take a closer look at the environment of Venus, which could indicate living conditions.

conditions of life

Hubble telescope
Hubble telescope

Since the space telescope Hubble Detected a large number of Nearby GalaxiesAstronomers are obsessed with finding Exoplanets in other star systems, especially those that appear to be habitable.

But there are certain criteria for considering a planet habitable. It must have a suitable temperature, an atmospheric pressure similar to the pressure of the earth and the available water.

in this meaning, Venus It probably wouldn’t attract much attention if it were outside our solar system. Its sky is filled with thick clouds of sulfuric acid (which is dangerous for humans), the Earth is a desolate background of extinct volcanoes, and 90% of its surface is covered with flows of hot red lava.

Despite this, NASA will search the planet Environmental conditions what they can After living in the past. In particular, any evidence that Venus may have an ocean It will change all our current models of the planet.

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Interestingly, conditions on Venus are less harsh at an altitude of about 50 km above the surface. In fact, the pressure at this point is reduced so much that conditions are reduced Very similar to those on Earth, with breathable air and pleasant temperatures.

If there is life (in the form of microbes) on Venus, most likely wherever you are.

DAVINCI + . probe

Bill Nelson, Administrator of NASA (Image: REUTERS/Al Drago)
Bill Nelson, Administrator of NASA (Image: REUTERS/Al Drago)

Mission DAVINCI + (Exploring Venus’s Deep Atmosphere for Noble Gases, Chemistry and Imaging) NASA has several scientific goals related to the following:

The origin and evolution of the atmosphere

Your goal is to understand Atmospheric origins Venus, focusing on how it first formed, how it evolved, and how (and why) it differs from the atmospheres of Earth and Mars.

Atmosphere formation and surface interaction

it’s about Understand the history of water on Venus and the chemical processes that occur in the lower atmosphere. An attempt will also be made to determine whether Venus has an ocean. Since life on Earth began in our oceans, this will be the starting point in any search for life.

Surface properties

This will save this aspect of the task Information on the geographically complex tile regions of Venus (which contains highly distorted terrain), and will investigate its origins, tectonic and volcanic history, and weather factors.

These findings could shed light on how Venus and Earth began in a similar way. Then they diverged in their evolution.

The DAVINCI+ spacecraft, upon its arrival at Venus, A spherical probe full of sensitive instruments will drop through the planet’s atmosphere. As you descend, the probe will take samples of air, It constantly measures the atmosphere as it falls and returns the measurements to the orbiting spacecraft.

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The probe will load a file mass spectrometer, which can measure the mass of different particles in the sample. This will be used to detect any noble gases or other gases in Venus’s atmosphere.

In-flight sensors will also help in measuring atmospheric dynamics.The camera will take high-contrast images as the tube descends. Only four spacecraft have returned images of the surface of Venus, the last one taken in 1982.

Truth, honesty

They are a volcano on Venus
They are a volcano on Venus

For its part, the mission of VERITAS (Venus emission, radio science, InSAR, topography, and spectroscopy) Map surface features to determine the geological history of the planet And better understand why it evolved so differently from Earth.

Availability of historical geology important information about the ancients weather changes, The bangs volcanic and earthquakes. This data can be used to predict the likely magnitude and frequency of future events.

The mission will also attempt to understand the internal geodynamics that shaped the planet. In other words, we can build a picture of the movements of the continental plates of Venus and compare it with that of the Earth.

Together with DAVINCI +, you will take VERITAS topographic images High-resolution image of the surface of Venus across the planet, for mapping surface features, including mountains and valleys.

At the same time, the instrument Venus Emissivity Mapper (VEM) Aboard the orbiting spacecraft, VERITAS will accurately map surface gas emissions so that it can detect near-surface water vapor. Its sensors are so powerful that they will be able to see through thick clouds of sulfuric acid.

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Key insight into conditions on Venus

The most exciting of these two missions is the surface-orbit probe. in a contract 1980Four landers reached the surface of Venus, But they were only able to work for two days because of the crushing pressure. The pressure there is 93 bar, which is the same 900 meters below sea level on the ground.

Then there is the lava. Numerous lava stretches on Venus extend for several hundred kilometers. The movement of this lava can be favored by the average surface temperature of the planet, about 470 degrees Celsius.

from their side , volcanoes shieldFrom Venus it has an impressive display مثير 700 km At the base, but only a few 5.5 km average height. The largest shield volcano on Earth, Mauna Loa in Hawaii is only 120 km wide at its base.

Information from DAVINCI+ and VERITAS will provide important insight into not only how Venus forms, but how any living rocky planet forms.. At best, this will provide us with valuable clues to search for habitable worlds outside our solar system.

Note in the original Posted in Conversation

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Lovell Loxley

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