Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Spacerip's "Venus: Death of a Planet", and a word of warning

Spacerip: “Venus: Death of a Planet”  with Thomas Lucas (writer) and Dick Rodstein narrator, takes us through the mythology of early horror movies about invasions from Venus, including one rather like “The Event”, starting with earthlings find a computer disk (e.g. DVD) from Venus and go.

The film (22 min) explores the theory that Venus may have at one time had water and been capable of supporting life. Part of this evidence comes from deuterium in the high atmosphere. But Venus, if so, did not have enough ocean to dissolve carbon dioxide the way Earth does.  And it did not keep a magnetic field to protect it from “coronal mass ejections”.  It wound up with a runaway greenhouse effect that would indeed make for an “Inconvenient Truth”. 

Could Venus have retained Earth-like temperatures had it been somewhat smaller?  It still would have had trouble having a magnetic field. On the other hand, were Mars about twice the volume of Earth instead of smaller than Earth, it might be much warmer (because of a thicker atmosphere) and be more likely to have kept a magnetic field. Such a Mars could have been capable of sustaining life similar to ours.  There are other theories that say that both Mars and Venus could have lost magnetic fields due to large asteroid strikes.
All of this provides fair warning to what could happen to Earth. Listen to professor Al Gore.

Here’s a short Spacerip video with a simulated flyover of canyons on Titan.

Wikipedia attribution link for size comparisons of terrestrial planets 

(Spelling of his post URL changed from what is displayed because of typo)

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