Last year, phosphane, a gas believed to be the fingerprint of life, was discovered in the clouds of Venus. This discovery sparked a new wave of interest in the “Earth’s twin” and sparked a debate in the scientific community that we should not only search for life on Mars, but also in the atmosphere of this planet, the portal wrote. IFL Science.
However, phosphates can also be explained by volcanic activity, so it’s not entirely clear if life really exists in the clouds of Venus. Fortunately, two science missions are headed to the planet to try to uncover the truth. Meanwhile, a team of scientists has published a study claiming that life on Venus is possible, at least in theory. But if it did exist, it would be different from all we know.
Remember to study at the beginning detection of ammonia, Behind them stand the Soviet mission Venus 8 and the American spacecraft Pioneer. Ammonia should not be in the atmosphere of Venus, at least according to the current understanding of the planet. So scientists claim that we lack an understanding of the planet’s processes that could create this substance.
In their new work, the scientists also give an explanation of this mysterious process, which is really daring. They wonder if life is still present in the clouds of Venus, which would also be the source of the detected ammonia.. They hypothesize that with this substance, organisms that live in clouds can turn an environment filled with sulfuric acid into something much milder. Ammonia can neutralize sulfuric acid and start a chain of chemical reactions that explain the formation of the planet’s atmosphere.
“Life as we know it cannot survive in the atmosphere of Venus. However, our work suggests that there is an organism that can adapt its surroundings so that it can survive in it,” said one of the authors, Sarah Seeger.
A plan to detect life in the clouds of Venus
Scientists’ bold claims require significant evidence, but the study’s authors took this into account. They have a list of phenomena that future missions should look for in the planet’s atmosphere. If their theory were legal, they would find traces of ammonia and oxygen and evidence of neutralization of sulfur dioxide in Venus’s atmosphere.
There is also some ambiguity in the bold premise. If life is in the clouds of Venus, how can it survive in such a dry environment. One possibility is that it produces water by neutralizing sulfur dioxide, but scientists have no idea what happens to the water next. If life is not in the clouds of Venus, what chemical processes can explain what happens in this layer?
At least three science missions will visit Venus in the near future. The US space agency, NASA, is preparing for the VERITAS and DAVINCI + missions, which will start in 2028 and 2030. This mission was also planned by the European Space Agency. It will be called EnVision Venus. These scientific expeditions will try to unravel the secrets of this planet and also verify whether Finds life in the clouds of VenusWhich itself creates acceptable living conditions.
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