According to a study which the journal Astrobiology recently published, the clouds of planet Venus might contain some forms of extraterrestrial microbial life. According to the authors, figuring out whether or not Venus’ clouds could host alien life has been a subject of debate for years. Research indicating that its characteristics like the moderate temperatures and pressure along with chemical and physical properties could support life has made this debate even more heated over decades.
It all began when the team of scientists noticed some dark patches on the planet’s clouds. It’s interesting that these patches are made out of sulfuric acid and light-absorbing particles, just like the ones found here on Earth. Moreover, the initial theory was that the dark patches could be similar to the algae blooms that we have in lakes. The patches contain particles that have similar dimensions to the bacteria on our planet. So, all things considered, Venus could become vital in our desperate search for life outside our planet. However, the first step would be to take samples and test these clouds.
The clouds of Venus could host life
The @NASA_TESS instrument team took this picture using an engineering unit (not flight) #TESS camera of the night sky. There are #exoplanets out there that TESS, @NASA‘s next exoplanet hunter, will find when launched next month! #WhenILookThroughMyTelescope pic.twitter.com/nKUHQYVsSr
— NASA_TESS (@NASA_TESS) April 1, 2018
According to study co-author Rakesh Mogul, the first step is to actually travel there, take samples of the clouds and analyze them. Astrobiology might have found a new favorite chapter to study in Venus and its interesting clouds. Moreover, it’s worth noting that this month, NASA will be launching a new telescope, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS. Its mission will be to search for exoplanets and possibly find out whether or not there are other planets out there that resemble our own.
Astronomer Jill Tarter believes that even if the discovery of alien life might not happen during our lifetime, it will surely happen one day. Most probably, this century. This is why it’s important to figure out ways to discover these life forms, even if we might not live to enjoy their existence.
Image source: pixabay