Earth's Twin - by Ali Haider

Yes, you read it right. Our beloved Earth had a Twin and it was none other than the planet named after the Roman Goddess of Love, Venus which is also the brightest thing in the night sky after the moon.. So yes, Venus, once upon a time, had oceans and looked somewhat similar to the Earth. “If one would have looked at our solar system a few billion years ago, they might have found two Earths and it is quite possible that if one looks at the solar system a few billion years later, they might find two Venuses” (not my words). This is because the planets keep changing which is evident from the transformation through which Venus has gone.

Now let me come to Venus and tell you what I know which made it look like the hellish place full of volcanoes it is today. Venus, like the Earth, as I mentioned earlier as well, had oceans in it. However, what majorly separated it from Earth was the absence of a strong magnetic field around it which would have protected it from incoming solar flares. Another aspect was the abundance of volcanoes on its surface. As the oceans warmed and water vapours rose to the atmosphere, the incoming solar flares broke down the water molecules into Oxygen and Hydrogen atoms. In this way, water from Venus instead of falling back as rain kept escaping into outer space. This process continued and after hundreds of millions of years, there is no trace of water on mercury’s extremely hot surface.

Moreover, due to the volcanic eruptions that still continue to happen there on an enormous scale, greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide accumulated in such huge amounts that Venus’s surface temperature became inhabitable for any form of life. Today, it has a surface temperature of nearly 900 fahrenheit and its atmosphere is so dense that the Sun appears incredibly dimmer than that on Earth. Another fun fact is that a day on Venus is longer than a year. Isn’t that strange? But it is what it is. So far, the Soviet Union sent 10 probes to Venus. The longest survivor could remain functional for only two hours and the shortest twenty three minutes.

If you ever happen to go to Venus and you see a white snow-like substance over its mountains, then you are a really lucky person, you found real snow on Venus ! Hey, I was joking, these are not snow but remnants of metals vaporized by Venus’s atmosphere.


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