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Is Venus in the Goldilocks Zone?

is-venus-in-goldilocks-zone

ANSWER:

Venus is NOT in the Goldilocks Zone.

More Info: Venus is too hot to be a Goldilocks planet. This term applies to planets that fall into a habitable zone around a star. Initially, it was believed that the Goldilocks Zone around the sun was much smaller. Over the decades, scientists have enhanced their knowledge of biological sustainability and life. They now realize that organisms can exist in some extreme climates, but there are limits. To understand why Venus does not fall into this category, you must know more about the Goldilocks principle.

What is the Goldilocks Principle?

The Goldilocks principle refers to the specific gas formula necessary for an atmosphere to sustain life. On Earth, there are two primary gases in the air – nitrogen and oxygen. It is the balance of these two elements with certain trace gases that sustain the atmospheric temperature.

The Goldilocks principle compares the gas ratio of three main structures in this solar system. The grouping includes Venus, Earth and Mars. Of these three, only one is able to support life.

What is the Goldilocks Zone?

The Goldilocks, or habitable zone, is the region in space that is the right distance from a sun to create a surface temperature able to support life. If the planet is too hot or cold, water evaporates or freezes and no life can exist.

About Venus

Venus has a dense atmosphere that consists of primarily carbon dioxide. This heavy element makes the atmospheric mass thick enough to create a strong greenhouse effect. The surface temperature of Venus ranges around 864 degrees Fahrenheit.

At one time, Venus may have fallen into the Goldilocks zone. Billions of years ago, it is likely the surface was able to hold liquid and maintain a livable temperature. Over time, the greenhouse effect changed the atmospheric gas formula, creating thermal inertia that lead to the evaporation of water and hot surface.

 

Resources

“The Goldilocks Principle.” UCAR – University Corporation for Atmospheric Research | Understanding atmosphere, Earth, and Sun. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2012.  http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_1_2_1t.htm

“The Goldilocks Zone – NASA Science.” NASA Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2012. http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2003/02oct_goldilocks/

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