NASA/JPL

My sisters and I may have been raised in the same home, by the same parents, but our personalities couldn’t be more different. I’m the pragmatic oldest sibling, the middle sister is enigmatic, and the youngest is dynamic.

Like human siblings, “sister planets” Earth and Venus share some features in common, but they also differ from each other. They are nearly the same size (Earth is the bigger of the two) and study indicates that, like Earth, Venus was once covered by liquid water.

But, today, these two celestial bodies possess drastically disparate environments. Earth is vibrant and teeming with biodiversity; Venus is barren and incapable of supporting life. What happened to make these “sisters” go their separate ways? (more…)