Aug 1, 2017

Venus may have had an ocean

Screengrab via YouTube, NASA

New scientific findings reveal that "the now-hellish planet," Venus, could have had water on its surface early on, per Science News.

How it may have happened: Simulations studied "the delicate interplay of cloud cover, carbon dioxide and water" that may have produced a watery surface on the planet. In some scenarios, Venus would need fairly little water, just 10% of the mass of Earth's oceans, to create its own seas. The dry planet seen today could be due to the water boiling away or getting "reinjected into part of the planet's interior," if it was even there to begin with. The results were published last week in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. It supports past research suggesting Venus' slow rotation could have promoted cloud cover and cool temperatures.

Why it matters: Astrophysicist Michael Way, who was not involved with the study, told Science News that this discovery "plays into a much bigger puzzle of understanding the habitability of exoplanets."

Update: a previous version of this story mis-identified the name of the journal.

Go deeper

Top Senate Democrat says State Dept. is working on new Saudi arms deal

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs reporters on May 20. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) wrote in a CNN op-ed on Wednesday that he learned that the State Department is currently working to sell thousands of additional precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia.

Why it matters: Democrats say that Steve Linick, the State Department inspector general who was ousted on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recommendation, was investigating the administration's previous effort to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval.

U.S. coronavirus death toll crosses 100,000

Data: Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a terrible milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: The death toll from COVID-19 now stands at more than 34 times the number of people who died on 9/11.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,651,806 — Total deaths: 353,246 — Total recoveries — 2,325,989Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 1,694,599 — Total deaths: 99,983 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Business: African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs saysDisney plans phased reopening on July 11Author Ann Patchett says bookstores are innovating to stay connected with customers.
  5. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  6. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy