The Mysterious Planet

[music] Mysteries abound in our
universe, but bit by bit, we are unlocking its secrets. We now
know that our galaxy contains billions of other planets – but
how can we learn more about them? What traits do these
exoplanets have? What are they made of? What are their
environments like? How have they evolved over time? Are they
habitable? And can planets lose habitability over time? Imagine
we could study one of these planets up close. We find one of
similar size, mass, and composition as Earth. By all
accounts, this planet appears very similar to our own. We
discover evidence that this world may have once had liquid
water oceans and volcanoes – a setting that could have been
favorable to life. But over time, something drastic happened
to this environment. This planet’s sun grew brighter and
hotter – increasing the temperature here to the point
that the oceans boiled away. And then gradually, the volcanic
gasses created a thick atmosphere with clouds of
sulfuric acid. That once friendly environment was gone.
But all is not lost. The remnants of such a world may
hold the key to understanding planetary evolution and
habitability. The twist is that this isn’t science fiction, this
planet does exist. And if we want to learn more about the
past, present, and possible future of our planet and the
billions of similar exoplanets out there – this mysterious one
needs more study. And it doesn’t reside in some distant solar
system, truth be told, it sits right next door. This planet
is Venus. And the more mysteries we can unravel here, the more
answers we can find out there.


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