This composite of three infrared images was acquired by the Ultraviolet, Visible and Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on board ESA's Venus Express from a distance of about 65 000 km. Credits: ESA/VIRTIS/INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA
April 27, 2007 Earth sits between two worlds that have been devastated by climate catastrophes. In the effort to combat global warming, our neighbours can provide valuable insights into the way climate catastrophes affect planets. From what scientists know now, it is possible that Venus and Mars started out a lot like Earth. At some point in time, each planet followed a path that changed its climate. The transition was from Earth-like to either a cloudy inferno (Venus) or a frigid desert (Mars). Data from Venus Express and Mars express is now helping scientists determine if, when and why each planet passed the point of no-return.
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