Huge news just in. A group of scientists in the UK have discovered signs of alien life on Venus.
Although the surface of Venus is far too hot to sustain life, with a mean temperature of around 464C (867F), astronomers have found that life could survive high up in the planets atmosphere where the temperature is much cooler.
Exciting news: High in the toxic atmosphere of the planet #Venus, astronomers have discovered signs of what might be life—a chemical called #phosphine. Scientists assert that something now alive is the only explanation for the chemical’s source.🔭👩🔬https://t.co/8gnjuzmro0— Dr. Dena Grayson 🇺🇸 (@DrDenaGrayson) September 14, 2020
Now a team of international astronomers from the University of Cardiff have discovered a phosphine gas in these high clouds.
The gas is a molecule which is produced on Earth by microbes that live in similar oxygen-free environments.
Professor Greaves, who led the operation, wrote:
This was an experiment made out of pure curiosity, really – taking advantage of the JCMT’s powerful technology.
I thought we’d just be able to rule out extreme scenarios, like the clouds being stuffed full of organisms. When we got the first hints of phosphine in Venus’ spectrum, it was a shock!
To create the quantity of phosphorus found on Venus, organisms would only have to omit about 10% of their maximum productivity.
Holy shit. Phosphine on #Venus!— Becky Smethurst (@drbecky_) September 14, 2020
Phosphine on Earth is made industrially, and by microbes that don’t need Oxygen to survive.
We’re pretty sure there’s no industry on Venus… so does that mean life on Venus? A lot more work still to do – but VERY cool result! pic.twitter.com/7g5ElQ8BPz
However, microbial life on Venus is expected to be very different to that on Earth as it would need to survive in the hyper-acidic conditions of the planet’s clouds.
In case you were wondering the planets clouds are made almost entirely from sulphuric acid…