We’re all going to die the aliens are coming! April Fool’s, haha! Oh, what’s that, a NASA study says aliens could be living in the acid clouds of Venus. Not laughing now, are we?
Boffins think the sulphur dioxide-rich upper atmosphere might be home to simple microbial life and their study has been backed by NASA. Ok, that’s ‘might’ and not ‘may’, and ‘simple microbial life’ not ‘acid spitting dragon lookalikes’. Think we’ll be alright, but you can never be too sure, right.
Using space probes – not that kind – to detect dark patches around the rust-coloured body, scientists observed light-asborbing properties similar to bacteria on Earth.
These Venus-bound glow lamps could be blooms of space-algae, like those which occur in lakes and ponds on our planet, EarthSky reports.
Like Manchester, Venus’s clouds are partly made of sulphuric acid and reflect 75 per cent of the sunlight that falls on them, making them completely opaque – that’s not see-through.
Venus is known as Earth’s evil twin because of its inhospitable conditions, where it rains acid and temperatures can reach over 450C – Earth must have a lot of twins in our universe.
The research was published earlier this week in the journal Astrobiology and suggests extra-terrestrial microbes could survive by being blown around by winds in the cooler cloud tops.
EarthSky reports bacteria has been identified in our atmosphere on Earth as high as 25 miles (40km) – a series of Venus probes launched between 1962 and 1978 showed temperatures and pressures at a similar height don’t prevent a similar possibility of life on Venus.
Sanjay Limaye, planetary scientist at the University of Wisconsin led the new study.
He said in January 2017, in Astrobiology Magazine:
These are questions that haven’t been fully explored yet and I’m shouting as loud as I can saying that we need to explore them.
The particles observed on Venus have almost the same dimensions as those on Earth, although the instruments used are incapable of discerning organic and inorganic material.
Venus has had plenty of time to evolve life on its own.
On computer models that suggest Venus once had a hospitable climate with liquid on its surface as far as long as 2 billion years ago, he added: “That’s much longer than is believed to have occurred on Mars.”
Speaking of Mars, in January scientists announced they had discovered some of the water ice below the surface of Mars is pretty clean.
Isn’t that just incredible – scientists can tell you about ice located under the surface of a planet 54,600,000km away – I couldn’t even tell you what’s in my fridge and that’s about half an hour away.
In case you haven’t been keeping up on the latest episode of ‘I’m A Human Get Me Out Of Here’, scientists have known for a while there’s ice locked under the surface of our nearest planetary neighbour in the solar system, but they haven’t been able to determine how deep it goes or how pure the stuff is.
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Looks like our options are opening up for an extra-terrestrial get away any time soon!
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Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.