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Old 2020-09-14, 13:06   Link #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Extraterrestrial Life?

Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds:

"High in the toxic atmosphere of the planet Venus, astronomers on Earth have
discovered signs of what might be life.

If the discovery is confirmed by additional telescope observations and future space
missions, it could turn the gaze of scientists toward one of the brightest objects in the
night sky. Venus, named after the Roman goddess of beauty, roasts at temperatures
of hundreds of degrees and is cloaked by clouds that contain droplets of corrosive
sulfuric acid. Few have focused on the rocky planet as a habitat for something living.

Instead, for decades, scientists have sought signs of life elsewhere, usually peering
outward to Mars and more recently at Europa, Enceladus and other icy moons of the
giant planets.

The astronomers, who reported the finding on Monday in a pair of papers, have not
collected specimens of Venusian microbes, nor have they snapped any pictures of
them. But with powerful telescopes, they have detected a chemical — phosphine — in
the thick Venus atmosphere. After much analysis, the scientists assert that something
now alive is the only explanation for the chemical’s source.

Some researchers question this hypothesis, and they suggest instead that the gas
could result from unexplained atmospheric or geologic processes on a planet that
remains mysterious. But the finding will also encourage some planetary scientists to
ask whether humanity has overlooked a planet that may have once been more
Earthlike than any other world in our solar system.

“This is an astonishing and ‘out of the blue’ finding,” said Sara Seager, a planetary
scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an author of the papers
(one published in Nature Astronomy and another submitted to the journal
Astrobiology). “It will definitely fuel more research into the possibilities for life in
Venus’s atmosphere.”"

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Old 2020-09-14, 13:14   Link #2
James Rye
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Germany
Would be pretty interesting if we start finding signs of life on many planets and moons in our own solar system, not just Venus but also Mars and Europe and such.
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Old 2020-09-14, 17:11   Link #3
kari-no-sugata II
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
This is a very simple chemical and I certainly wouldn't classify it as organic. Apparently it shows up in Jupiter's atmosphere as well. So I'm very dubious for now.
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