NASA Explains Why Venus Is Earth’s ‘Evil Twin’

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Videos by Rare

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Let’s just hope that we’re talking about the fraternal variety. NASA just explained why Venus is Earth’s “evil twin.” Lori Glaze, the director of planetary science for NASA, made a list of comparisons before revealing that the organization is planning at least three missions to the nearby planet.

Earth Has an Evil Twin and “She” Is Called Venus

In a video full of freaky factoids but set to chipper, boppy music, Glaze said that, in the beginning, Venus and Earth are thought to have been nearly the same.

“They’re pretty much about the same size. Venus is almost as big as Earth. They also formed in the same inner part of the solar system,” Glaze said.

She continued to explain that not only is Venus the closest planetary neighbor to Earth, but it is also made of the same materials.

“You would think that they would have turned out very, very similar. But what happened is somewhere along the way, they went two very different paths,” Glaze continued. “Some people like to say Venus went bad or something went wrong. I like to say that somewhere along the way, something good happened on Earth.”

Venus’ Hellish Atmosphere Is Believed to Have Been Caused By a Runaway Greenhouse Effect

The NASA director continued to detail how Venus’ atmosphere, which is heavily comprised of Carbon Dioxide, has created a runaway greenhouse effect. If the term sounds familiar to you, that’s because it’s what scientists are worried could happen to Earth.

NASA also believes that Venus may have once been habitable.

Venus’ surface temperatures can reach above a scorching 900 degrees Fahrenheit. That is hot enough to melt lead (and many other things). Adding to the heat is a 15-mile-thick sulfuric acid cloud layer.

“We really want to understand why Venus and Earth turned out so differently,” said Glaze.

Per, NASA is teaming up with several other space agencies to conduct what they’re calling a “decade of Venus.” The two agencies plan on sending three different spacecraft to Venus, each with a different mission. DAVINCI (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry and Imaging) is comprised of two parts. A spacecraft will initiate the mission by scanning the planet’s terrain and clouds and then stay there as a telecommunications hub. Then a probe will follow, exploring Venus’ atmospheric layers.

Next is VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography and Spectroscopy). VERITAS will investigate whether there was ever water on Venus. Space agencies from Germany, Italy, and France will be part of the VERITAS mission.

Third is EnVision, which will do a widescale comparison of Venus and Earth. The European Space Agency (ESA) will partner with NASA to take a deeper look at Venus’ core and atmosphere and try to figure out why it’s so different from Earth.

“Venus is such a hot and crazy place, really not hospitable to life,” said Glaze. “So that’s why sometimes she’s called our evil twin.”

Read More: NASA’s Telescope Captures ‘Hungry’ Black Hole ‘Devouring’ a Star

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