Venus, once billed as Earth’s twin, is a hothouse (and a tantalizing target in the search for life)



As Earth’s sister planet, Venus has endured a love-hate relationship when it comes to exploration. Now, new results suggest the presence of a signal of potential habitability on Venus, and the long-forgotten sibling may find itself back in the spotlight.

With its orbit near the rising or setting sun, Venus shone clearly to the first ancient astronomers. As humanity began to explore the solar system, a world with nearly the same mass and radius as Earth seemed like the most promising target. Venus sits on the border of our sun’s habitable zone, the region around a star where a planet should be able to host liquid water on its surface, and ideas of a veritable twin planet swam before the eyes of scientists and the public alike.



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