Pioneer 13 dropped a probe through Venus's clouds 42 years ago. How would life survive on Venus? Debate continues over a controversial report of phosphine in the planet’s atmosphere, as researchers reanalyze data and find a … Cloudy world: a recently-enhanced image of Venus taken by the Mariner 10 spacecraft. Dr Ng: One past indicator of life on Venus was the discovery of an absorption of ultraviolet light in Venus’ atmosphere. Year 225 Earth days. The new findings suggest that if life ever existed on Venus, either now or in the past, it might actually be present in the air itself. Researchers poring over archives from previous missions to Venus claim that NASA may have first detected phosphine signatures (indicating potential microbial life) back in 1978, and they just went unnoticed for the past 42 years. The search for extraterrestrial life has largely focused on Mars, but scientists at MIT, Cardiff University, and elsewhere reported surprising findings in September of what may be signs of life in the clouds of Venus. The detection of phosphine molecules, which consist of hydrogen and phosphorus, could point to this extra-terrestrial ‘aerial’ life. Powerful electrical events quickly alter … One should be prudent and adopt a cautious wait-and-see attitude. People have speculated about life in Venus's atmosphere for decades. Recommended for you. But the thinking behind life on Venus didn’t disappear completely. There is speculation about life existing in Venus' distant past, as well as questions about the possibility of life in the top cloud layers of Venus' atmosphere, where the temperatures are less extreme. A fundamental question in exobiology remains the degree to which habitats on Venus, past and present, were, or are suitable for life. Life could have evolved on Mars, and we may find the fossil evidence of such life. If phosphene is a sign of life on Venus, it’s entirely possible it is simply only one form of life. It’s clear that more detailed investigations are needed to verify life on—or above—Venus. In recent times, scientists have wondered if simple life might survive in Venus’ unusually cloudy atmosphere. Even those who are skeptical believe the findings to be intriguing. They often indicate karmic debt. This will require Herculean undertakings, as any actual upcoming missions to Venus are ideas, with no firm plans in place. 3 Life on Venus? Greaves, J. S. et al. References 1. Jonathan O'Callaghan Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes … Water is life. In the past, the authors of the new paper pointed out, some researchers have suggested the possibility of life in the planet's uppermost cloud layer. Prospects for Life on Venus Fade—but Aren’t Dead Yet. If rocks from Earth containing microbial life entered Venus’s orbit in the past, this life may have adapted to Venus’s atmospheric conditions. Radius 3,760 miles | 6,052 kilometers. It's believed to have had oceans billions of years ago. This has relevance for assessing the exobiological potential of extrasolar Venus-like greenhouse planets. Life on Venus | The Landscape, Timed Auction (62 / 100) Artwork Details "My work centres on an exploration of figurative painting, drawing from traditions of fresco and icon painting, and primarily investigating a fragmentary approach to narrative time and space which shifts between historical and contemporary references. A fundamental question in exobiology remains the degree to which habitats on Venus, past and present, were, or are suitable for life. Quick Facts Day 243 Earth days. Then, when intense climate change boiled the oceans away – killing all surface-based life – microbes in the clouds would have become the last outpost for life on Venus. Another possibility is that life in Venus’s atmosphere (if there is any) came from Earth. New research sheds light on the possibility of past life on Venus. Now the spacecraft makes its journey into the planet’s thick, sulfurous atmosphere. This would make sense for Venus obviously because the atmosphere is just so densely composing carbon dioxide. 'Perhaps life originated in the past when Venus was cooler, with liquid water oceans. High in the toxic atmosphere of the planet Venus, astronomers on Earth have discovered signs of what might be life. But his idea lived on. But Venus was not a serious contender for life, and least not after we sent probes there. While Venus is similar to Earth in size, mass, and … If rocks from Earth containing microbial life entered Venus’s orbit in the past, this life may have adapted to Venus’s atmospheric conditions. Shutterstock A truly alien explanation. Sagan died in 1996, in the midst of a criminally long dry spell for NASA Venus exploration. The Vatican’s top man on all things outer space has cautioned against getting too speculative about recent findings from a group of astronomers suggesting there could be life on Venus… Proposed processes included microorganisms as the absorbers. So, just in the past year, we’ve had coming out of the European Planetary Sciences Conference last September, the idea that up until as recently as 750 million years ago, Venus may have had water oceans and a habitable environment before something catastrophic took place. Grinspoon reacts to the phosphine discovery by saying that it “will force people to take seriously the plausibility of a cloud biosphere on Venus.” If past is prologue, the excitement following the discovery of this malodorous gas will give way to an explanation that doesn’t depend on the presence of life. Like I said before, phosphene is produced on earth by organisms that are living in environments that are very poor in oxygen. 'As Venus heated up the oceans evaporated and the surface became so hot that any life would have been killed, but any life in the clouds would have survived.' Venus, roughly the same size as Earth, is often called our sister planet. Q: Have there been any past indicators of life on Venus? May 22, 2019. Mars is currently dry and desolate, but in the past was warmer and wetter. Spacecraft Flies Past Venus En Route To Mercury, But Did It Find Signs Of Life In The Atmosphere? If life formed back then, it might have adapted to spread into the clouds. Astronomers have speculated for decades that high clouds on Venus could offer a home for microbes – floating free of the scorching surface, but still needing to tolerate very high acidity. It was also caused by an unknown process. (Courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech) Phosphine, which is a gas produced exclusively by microbes on Earth and considered to be a strong signature of life on other worlds, has been detected in the clouds of Venus. As it heads towards the surface, it sends… A 1978 NASA mission to Venus may have overlooked some incredible evidence of life in the planet’s atmosphere. 2020. Or, unlikely but possible, life could have barely clung to some ecosystems in the Martian soil. But today, it's considered inhospitable to life. Past life indicators in synastry can be very supportive and loving, but depending on the nature of the planets involved, you can also block each other and bring hard lessons into each other’s life. 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