Recent research has revealed that Venus might have looked like Earth for three billion years, with vast oceans that could have been friendly to life. “That’s what sets my imagination on fire,” says Darby Dyar, a planetary scientist at Mount Holyoke College with NASA’s Solar System Exploration team, which led her to surmise: “If that’s the case, there was plenty of time for evolution to kick into action,” and conclude that Venus may have been the first habitable planet in the Solar System — “a place where life was just as likely to arise as it was on Earth.”
Was Venus, described by Stephen Hawking as Earth’s “kissing cousin,” the solar system’s first habitable planet? Scientists have recently conjectured that Venus may have been radically different from the hellish Venus we see today, resembling Earth for its first three billion years, with vast oceans that could have been friendly to life. Fast forward to the 21st century –strange dark patches, enigmas, “unknown absorbers” have been detected floating inside the clouds of Venus capturing large amounts of solar radiation that may prove to be extraterrestrial microorganisms.