Astronomers say they may have discovered life on Venus.
Using high-powered telescopes in Hawaii and Chile, scientists have spotted the chemical signature of phosphine, a noxious gas that supports life on Earth, a study published in Monday’s edition of “Nature Astronomy” reveals. According to the authors, phosphine is formed as a function of animals and microbes — although there’s some debate over whether it’s a waste product. Regardless, its presence in Venus’ clouds means there’s a chance living microbes are present in the planet’s atmosphere, the study concludes.
Carl Sagan's theory about life on Venus "was prescient, and still makes sense today: between the hellish surface conditions on present-day Venus and the near-vacuum of outer space must be a temperate region where life could live on." https://t.co/pJmYjmCDzX
— Mashable (@mashable) September 15, 2020
Despite the findings, even the study’s authors concede the chance of life existing on Venus — where surface temperatures reach 800 degrees — is slim at best. “Venus is hell,” says co-author David Clements. “Venus is kind of Earth’s evil twin. Clearly something has gone wrong, very wrong, with Venus. It’s the victim of a runaway greenhouse effect.”
Does the fact that life, as we know it couldn’t survive in such extreme heat, means a different kind of life couldn’t? Do you think there’s life on another planet?