"These differences are not just [due] to Venus being closer to the sun," Oxford's Taylor says. "We now know that the lack of a protective magnetic field and the differing planetary rotation rates also play a role in ensuring that many of the atmospheric processes we observe on Earth occur at a much faster rate on Venus. Our new data make it possible to construct a scenario in which Venus started out like the earth [did]—possibly including a habitable environment, billions of years ago—and then evolved to the state we see now."
Jumbotron image: ESA/VIRTIS-VenusX/INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA (P. Drossart, Obs. de Paris-LESIA)