Venus-like worlds are surprisingly common in 'habitable' zones

Venus-like worlds are surprisingly common in ‘habitable’ zones

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The hellish planet Venus is known for its incredibly thick atmosphere, crushingly high air pressure and surface temperatures that are hot enough to melt lead. In other words, it has some of the most inhospitable surface conditions in the entire solar system.

But going by the standard definition of “habitable zone,” Venus sits inside this “Goldilocks” region. That’s because the current definition of habitable zone only examines the amount of sunlight reaching a planet. If it’s too much or too little, then liquid water can’t exist on the surface, and thus the planet is not a good candidate for life. According to this simple criterion, Venus is habitable; that is, it can potentially support liquid water. But it obviously doesn’t. So does this make Venus-like planets rare, or should we start questioning our definitions?



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