Astronomers Find Hints of Life on Venus

Pablo Tucker
September 18, 2020

After it was discovered through telescopic research that clouds hanging in the Venusian atmosphere poses potential signs of life - which seems to be similar to Phosphine gas produced by microbes and microorganisms on the earth, astronomers and space experts have become more than interested to further dissect into an unknown world of our twin planet, not identical twin though. And, if so, what form does it take?

The research itself isn't a full-on discovery of life on another planet, but the sheer quantity of phosphine (AKA a fishy-smelling gas usually found in pond slime and penguin dung) can not be explained through any known process. On Earth, it is secreted by some bacteria in the process of life. "I'm particularly delighted to see United Kingdom scientists leading such an important breakthrough-something that makes a strong case for a return space mission to Venus".

Temperatures are much congenial, in the planet's upper atmosphere.

However, the discovery does not necessitate the presence of life on Venus as telescopic information or data configuration could have affected the results.


But, it still has not been claimed that life has been detected on Venus. "So we can literally go and check", Sousa-Silva concluded. Over the past two decades, we've made new discoveries that collectively imply a significant increase of the likelihood to find life elsewhere.

"What we don't know is we don't know if microbes are actually making phosphine or if they're making some other compound that then turns into phosphine", Pasek explained.

While the case does a good job ruling out non-biological sources of phosphine, McKay said there's an equally compelling argument that the atmosphere is anything but suitable for life.

But Venus is the victim of a runaway greenhouse effect in which thick clouds in a mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere trap sunlight, producing temperatures at the surface that soar to almost 900 degrees, hot enough to melt lead. "There are 1 trillion planets in the Milky Way, and this suggests we're not that special".


Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), said a neighboring planet at an industrial fair in Moscow, the capital of Russia, shortly after USA and British scientists announced that they found evidence that Venus might have existed in the atmosphere in the past. But also chemicals that might indicate a completely different kind of metabolism.

If there was life on Venus, how would these aliens act? Perhaps on other planets, larger creatures could evolve a kind of "balloon" of hydrogen to keep them floating in the clouds. Unfortunately, the surface of Venus is so deadly inhospitable, that could never happen. We assume that Venus is a Russian planet, so we shouldn't lag in the back of. Thereafter, Soviet's Venera 9, in 1975, took the pictures of the surface of Venus for the first time, revealing its poisonous atmosphere. The only way to be in contact with other organisms is if your droplet were to merge with another one containing another organism. "Conditions there are certainly not nice, they're extremely acidic and it's very windy, but on the other hand, if you're talking about 50 to 60 kilometers up, then the pressure is much like it is on the surface of the Earth and the temperature's quite nice, maybe up to about 85 degrees Fahrenheit".

While an exciting finding, confirming the presence of life requires a lot more work.

Why is it no longer tenable to claim that there can not be life beyond earth? "If you look at history, contact between humans and less intelligent organisms have often been disastrous from their point of view, and encounters between civilizations with advanced versus primitive technologies have gone badly for the less advanced", said Hawking. "It also means that life itself must be very common, and there must be many other inhabited planets throughout our galaxy", she continued. And now we realise that we can measure the contents of the atmospheres on these planets. Right now Mars is circled by many orbiters and prowled by many rovers.


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