New research suggests there could be life on Venus—and NASA agrees
Is there life on Venus? New research suggests there may be, though not on the planet’s floor. Venus’ clouds could present a habitat for microbes, opening up one other avenue for life in our photo voltaic system.
The research in query was printed within the journal Astrobiology final week, theorizing that Venus’ clouds could assist microbial life. It builds on earlier theories in regards to the planet’s ambiance, as a result of whereas the floor is simply too sizzling and acidic to assist Earth-like life, larger altitudes are a extra survivable temperature.
Working from observations of the planet’s cloud layer, this new paper builds a case for microbial life on Venus. It’s not fairly the flashy alien discovery some headlines counsel, however it bolsters a rising principle that Venus is much less inhospitable than we thought.
This probably liveable ambiance exists round 31 miles above the floor, inspiring sci-fi stories about terraforming Venus to construct cities within the clouds. Again within the 1960s, astrophysicist Carl Sagan provided the bold suggestion of bombing Venus with algae to create a extra livable ambiance, though that basically was on the “fiction” finish of science fiction.
In the intervening time, scientists haven’t truly proved that life exists within the Venusian clouds. They only assume it’s an more and more believable principle. The subsequent step would be to check that principle on Earth, recreating Venus’ ambiance in a specialised chamber.
Venus has not been a excessive precedence for house exploration in recent times, though a number of probes have orbited or landed on the planet since 1962. Situated nearer to the Solar than Earth, the floor temperature is 864 levels Fahrenheit and has a thick, poisonous ambiance of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. There’s a well-liked principle—endorsed by NASA—that it may need had liquid water oceans within the distant previous. However now it’s a wasteland of volcanoes and barren rock, and till extra probes are despatched to look at the ambiance intimately, we received’t know for positive if these Venusian microbes actually exist.
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