FP TrendingOct 09, 2020 22:11:10 IST
Venus is thought to have once had an Earth-like environment. Now, scientists from Yale have proposed that billions of pieces of Venus are likely to have crashed on our planet’s moon, and could provide concrete evidence of this theory. Researchers Samuel Cabot and Gregory Laughlin say that pieces of Venus are likely to have crashed on the moon when asteroids and comets slamming into Venus may have released billions of rocks, sending them into an orbit intersecting with Earth and Earth’s moon.
Lead author of the study Cabot went on to add, “Some of these rocks will eventually land on the moon as Venusian meteorites,” as per a statement released by Yale University.
According to Cabot, such catastrophic impacts happen only every hundred million years, adding that the Moon offers safe keeping for these ancient rocks.
Cabot further added that anything that landed on Earth is probably buried very deep, due to geological activity and these are much better preserved on moon.
Scientists believe that at a point in time, Venus might have had an Earth-like atmosphere but then experienced a runaway greenhouse effect and developed its current climate.
According to Laughlin and Cabot, there could be two factors supporting the theory. Firstly, asteroids hitting Venus are usually going faster than those that hit Earth, launching even more material. The second theory is that a huge number of ejected material from the planet would have come close to both Earth and the moon.
Laughlin went on to add that there is a commensurability between the orbits of Venus and Earth and thus it provides a ready route for rocks blasted off Venus to travel to Earth’s vicinity.
“The moon’s gravity then aids in sweeping up some of these Venusian arrivals,” Laughlin stated.
According to Laughlin, there are several standard chemical analyses that can pinpoint the origin of moon rocks, including any that came from Venus.
The results of the study, explaining the theory, have been published in the Planetary Science Journal.