University of Arkansas researchers have received a $417,000 grant from NASA to study the interaction between the atmosphere and surface of Venus.
This grant, which is for three years, will enable researchers to stimulate conditions on Venus’ surface in the W.M. Keck Laboratory’s Venus chamber. According to Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences associate professor Vincent Chevrier, there are few locations that can stimulate Venus’ conditions, which include an atmospheric pressure that is 95 times higher than Earth’s and has a temperature of up to 860 degrees Fahrenheit.
Research into Venus’ atmospheric conditions could yield a greater knowledge into chemical models, according to Chevrier.
“It can dissolve oil or other organics and it doesn’t leave any residue,” said Chevrier. “Maybe it can dissolve other materials on planetary surfaces, kind of like the ocean contains salt. Maybe there are compounds dissolved in the CO2 that could completely upset the balance and the chemical models in the atmosphere of Venus and completely change the way we see chemical models.”