By Charles Q. Choi
Venus may have once possessed strange oceans of carbon dioxide fluid that helped shape the planet’s surface, researchers say.
Venus is often described as Earth’s twin planet because it is the world closest to Earth in size, mass, distance and chemical makeup. However, whereas Earth is a haven for life, Venus is typically described as hellish, with a crushing atmosphere and clouds of corrosive sulfuric acid floating over a rocky desert surface hot enough to melt lead.
Although Venus is currently unbearably hot and dry, it might have once had oceans like Earth. Prior research suggested that Venus possessed enough water in its atmosphere in the past to cover the entire planet in an ocean about 80 feet deep (25 meters) — if all that water could somehow fall down as rain. But the planet was probably too warm for such water to cool down and precipitate, even if the planet did have enough moisture.
Instead of seas of water, then, scientists now suggest that Venus might have once possessed bizarre oceans of carbon dioxide fluid.
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