ALIEN life could be living in the clouds of Venus despite the planet being boiling hot and barren for millions of years, leading scientists have said.The surface of Venus is largely considered inhospitable due to the searing temperatures and lack of water.But scientists believe that microbial life could exist in the clouds.
While temperatures on the surface of Venus can reach462 degrees celsius – hot enough to melt led and way beyond the threshold that life could survive – there is a point on the planet, 31 miles above the surface in the atmosphere which is just between 30 and 70 degrees celsius.
Previous missions, most notably the Soviet Union’s Venera space robes which saw 10 crafts land on Venus during the 60s and 70s, detected elongated particles in the clouds which were only one micron long – roughly the size of small bacterium.Cynthia Phillips, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said: “I think we should really take another look at Venus.
”Scientists speculate that Venus was probably Earth-like in terms of conditions for more than two billion years. For this reason, David Grinspoon, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, said during a talk at the Breakthrough Discuss conference, said that the planet could have been habitable “for much of solar system history”.
The potential bacterium living in the clouds could have coated themselves in a molecule known as S8 which is also in the clouds and resistant to the corrosive effects of sulphuric acid and also absorbs the ultraviolet radiation.NASA is in talks with Russia about its Venera-D mission, which could launch in the 2020s – and could be the first probe to discover if there is any scientific basis to the theory.
The space agency has agreed to perform a year-long feasibility study and several meetings during the next year.After that time NASA and Russia’s Space Research Institute, or IKI, will decide whether to continue its partnership, according to a report in Spaceflight Now.
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