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Venus: The forgotten Planet

Compared to Earth and Mars, we know very little about the early history and evolution of Venus. Despite the likelihood that Venus was very similar to Earth after formation, the two planets followed vastly different evolutionary pathways. Venus now hosts a runaway greenhouse atmosphere composed almost entirely of carbon dioxide, sulfuric acid clouds, and surface temperatures that could melt lead. When, how, and why Venus’ evolution diverged from Earth is unknown. The Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission has been proposed to answer many of these questions. The mission would send a probe through the Venus atmosphere to measure a comprehensive suite of noble gases, to compile a detailed profile of trace gases, and to image the Venus-unique complex ridged terrain. Although DAVINCI was not selected in the most recent competition, there are other opportunities to build on the DAVINCI approach for exploring Venus in the future. Better understanding of why Earth, Mars, and Venus are they way they are today is critical to interpreting new observations of exoplanets that have been found around other stars in our galaxy.

By: Lori Glaze, Deputy Director, NASA Goddard

Click for a live broadcast:

Host: Pedro DiNezio/Krista Soderlund, UTIG

When: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:30am – 12:30pm Central Time