Washington, March 17 (ANI): New calculations by scientists have suggested that Venus and Earth might literally be involved in a long-distance relationship, with our planet speculated to be tugging on the core of Venus and exerting control over its spin.
Whenever Venus and Earth arrive at the closest point in their orbits, Venus always presents the same face to us.
This could mean that Earth's gravity is tugging subtly on Venus, affecting its rotation rate.
That idea, raised decades ago, was disregarded when it turned out that Venus is spinning too fast to be in such a gravitational "resonance".
But Earth could still be pulling on Venus by controlling its core, according to calculations by Gerard Caudal of the University of Versailles-Saint Quentin, France.
According to a report in New Scientist, Caudal made large assumptions about Venus's interior, which we know little about.
For his hypothesis to be correct, the planet would, like Earth, need a solid core surrounded by a liquid layer.
This could allow the solid core to rotate slower than the rest of the planet.
The core would also have to be asymmetric or heterogeneous, so that Earth can exert a variable tug as Venus spins.
"For the resonance to be possible, there should be something that the gravity of the Earth could grasp," Caudal said.
This latter requirement could be problematic for the hypothesis, according to Jean-Luc Margot of the University of California, Los Angeles.
"In order to maintain a resonance, the inner core must be out of round by a significant amount," he noted.
Yet persistent imperfections in planetary cores tend to smooth out because the core is hot and under great pressure, according to David Stevenson of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
"Still, the resonance theory is worth revisiting," he said.
"Watching for changes in Venus's spin over time using radar observations may reveal more about what's going on inside the planet," said Margot. (ANI)