Astronomers have discovered possible signs of life on Venus
An international team of scientists has discovered in the atmosphere of Venus clots of phosphine gas, which could be produced by living alien microorganisms.
Researchers warn the public against hasty conclusions, since the presence of phosphine alone does not confirm the presence of life on the planet, but only indicates an anomalous and inexplicable chemical composition.
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Phosphine is a fairly well-known toxic gas with an unpleasant smell of rotting fish. On Earth, it is found near pond slime and penguin droppings, can form in some industrial processes, and is also a byproduct of anaerobic bacteria.
Clumps of gas were found at an altitude of more than 56 km above the surface of Venus, where clouds have high acidity and quickly remove phosphine, therefore, for the formation of massive clumps, it must constantly be produced somewhere in huge quantities, which are difficult to explain by non-biological sources. An alternative may be a chemical or geological process still unknown to scientists.
Astrophysicists discovered abnormal phosphine levels by accident while testing a new technique, not expecting to see such blobs of gas on Venus. However, additional investigations with the James Clark Maxwell Telescope and the ALMA Telescope have confirmed the initial results.
Despite the presence of an indirect sign, scientists have to do a lot of work to find out the true cause of the abnormally high phosphine content in the planet’s atmosphere.
Although space agencies favor Mars exploration, many scientists are talking about the possibility of air colonies on Venus at high altitude. NASA has already funded the development of an inflatable probe to explore extreme atmospheric planets BREEZE.