Astronomers have found a rare molecule named phosphine has been found in the massively acidic atmosphere of Venus.
This provides a tempting clue about life to be possible on Venus. Phosphine molecules are a result made by the human industry or the steps of the microbes that develop in oxygen-free environments.
But, it still has not been claimed that life has been detected on Venus. However, recent observations suggest minimum chances of microbial activity in the upper layers of Venus’ atmosphere.
“We have detected a rare gas called phosphine in the atmosphere of our neighbor planet Venus,” said Jane Greaves, a professor at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom and lead author of a report published in Nature Astronomy. “And the reason for our excitement is that phosphine gas on Earth is made by microorganisms that live in oxygen-free environments. And so there is a chance that we have detected some kind of living organism in the clouds of Venus.“
“In order to make this quite extraordinary claim that there might be life there, we really have to rule everything out, and that’s why we’re very cautious saying we’re not claiming there’s life, but claiming there’s something that is really unknown and it might be life,” said team member William Bains, a researcher at MIT.
Sara Seager, an MIT scientist who studies exoplanet atmospheres, said “we are not claiming we have found life on Venus.”
“We are claiming the confident detection of phosphine gas whose existence is a mystery,” she said. “Phosphine can be produced by some (non-biological) processes on Venus, but only in such incredibly tiny amounts, it’s not enough to explain our observation. “
“So we’re left with this other exciting, enticing possibility: that perhaps there is some kind of life in Venus’ clouds.”
Mars has been considered the best possibility for life to be possible after Earth to host microbial activity in the past or even in the future.
NASA, China, India, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates are all tracking exploration of the planet in several different forms.
Venus is a sufferer of the greenhouse effect where thick clouds made up of mainly carbon dioxide atmosphere capture sunlight, making the temperature of the surface reach approximately 900 degrees, which is considered hot enough to melt lead.
Temperatures are much congenial, in the planet’s upper atmosphere.
In spite of the acidic nature of the clouds, scientists say that it might be possible for alien microbes to live.
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