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Possible Indicator of Extraterrestrial Life Discovered in Venus

For years of exploration in the quest to detect another life form in this galaxy, this recent discovery from a neighboring planet is promising, and it is amplifying everybody's curiosity. A favorable indication that we are not alone in the Milky Way.

Image from Sci- A composite image of Venus as seen by JAXA’s Akatsuki spacecraft. Image credit: Institute of Space and Astronautical Science / Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Emanating a hellacious and intensely acidic environment, hints of an uncommon particle known as Phosphine have been found in Venus by Astronomers. This was reported on Monday giving an enticing sign about the chance of life on the planet. Phosphine atoms found on Earth are principally an aftereffect of the human industry or the activities of organisms that flourish in zero oxygen conditions.

The specialists are not asserting that life has been identified on the said planet but, the evaluation recommends that there might be a little chance of microbial movement in the upper layers of Venus’ environment, despite the planet's unfriendly surface.

"We have detected a rare gas called Phosphine in the atmosphere of our neighbor planet Venus,

"And the reason for our excitement is that Phosphine gas on Earth is made by microorganisms that live in oxygen-free environments and so there is a chance that we have detected some kind of living organism in the clouds of Venus."

- said Jane Greaves a lead author of a report published in Nature Astronomy.

As per the team, more investigation is expected to help support the claim in any way, considering the discovery.

"In order to make this quite extraordinary claim that there might be life there, we really have to rule everything out, and that's why we're very cautious saying we're not claiming there's life, but claiming there's something that is really unknown and it might be life,"

-said team member and researcher at MIT, William Bains

"We are not claiming we have found life on Venus."

"We are claiming the confident detection of Phosphine gas whose existence is a mystery,"

"Phosphine can be produced by some (non-biological) processes on Venus, but only in such incredibly tiny amounts, it's not enough to explain our observation. So we're left with this other exciting, enticing possibility: that perhaps there is some kind of life in Venus' clouds."

-said by a fellow MIT scientist, focusing on exoplanet atmospheres, Sara Seager who agreed on William’s previous statement.

Mars has for quite some time, viewed as the best applicant in the nearby planetary group next to Earth to have exhibited microbial life both in the past and present, as proposed by the levels of methane found on the planet. NASA, the European Space Agency, China, India, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates are on the quest of exploring the red planet one way or another.

NASA likewise is arranging a lead mission to consider the moons of Jupiter. Researchers trust one of the planet's biggest and most popular moon, Europa, warmed by flowing waves and gravitational communications with different moons, harbors a pungent, perhaps tenable sea underneath its frosty crust. Other solidified moons in the planetary system which have possibilities of inhabiting water are also nominees for study.

A casualty of the greenhouse impact in which thick mists are composed of carbon dioxide environment that traps daylight, Venus’ temperatures at its surface take off to almost 900 degrees, sufficiently hot to liquefy lead.

In the planet's upper environment, temperatures are significantly more inhabitable. Regardless of the acidic mists, researchers have conjectured that microorganisms might be able to exist.

Tweet from: @NatureAstronomy

"The surface conditions there today are really hostile, the temperature is enough to melt our landers,"

"But it's thought that much earlier in Venus' history the surface was much cooler and wetter and life possibly could have originated.

"There is a long-standing theory that some of the smallest forms of life might have been able to evolve upwards into the high clouds. Conditions there are certainly not nice, they're extremely acidic and it's very windy, but on the other hand, if you're talking about 50 to 60 kilometers up, then the pressure is much like it is on the surface of the Earth and the temperature's quite nice, maybe up to about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. So it's been hypothesized that this is a living habitat today."

- said Greaves

Utilizing the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii and 45 radio telescope reception apparatuses in the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile, Greaves' teamed examined Venus' air and were astonished to see unquestionable indications of Phosphine.

Image from Sci- Phosphine molecules were detected in the Venusian high clouds in data from the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. Image credit: ESO / M. Kornmesser / L. Calçada / NASA / JPL / Caltech

"It was a shock,"

"In the end, we found that both observatories had seen the same thing, faint absorption at the right wavelength to be phosphine gas, where the molecules are backlit by the warmer clouds below,"

- said Greaves in a statement

Around 20 particles for every billion, little hints were observed. But extra exploration demonstrated natural sources of Phosphine — volcanoes, lightning, minerals exploded into the air, the activity of daylight — which would produce the identified tiny amounts.

The group can preclude numerous non-organic approaches to produce the observed degrees of Phosphine, however, that doesn't mean life is the only definition. The air of Venus highlights mists with high convergences of sulfuric acid,

"Many questions, such as how any organisms could survive,"

"On Earth, some microbes can cope with up to about 5% of the acid in their environment, but the clouds of Venus are almost entirely made of acid,"

- said Cara Sousa Silva, an MIT researcher

Anticipating extra telescope time to search for indications of different gases related to the organic movement and specify the temperature of the mists where Phosphine is available to gain additional information. Eventually, future visits and exploration by Rocket will probably be expected to completely resolve the debate.

"There can always be something we overlooked,"

"Ultimately, the only thing that will answer this question for us — is there life, is there not life — is actually going to Venus and making more detailed measurements for signs of life and maybe life itself."

- said Seager.


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