Scientists have made a discovery that could uncover potential signs of life in the atmosphere of the planet Venus. The environment on venus is very harsh compared to earth. Venus is the hottest plant and the temperature can go up to 462◦celsius, Venus is closer to the sun as compared to earth, and due to its greenhouse gas effect, it makes venus the hottest plant on solar system. It also has extreme pressure 90 times more pressure than on earth, this makes the water life to evaporate from venus and make it the arid desert 50 times drier than the Atacama Desert on earth. But there is some microorganism which is able to grow in this condition some are thermoacidophilic extremophile, which might exist at this atmosphere in the acidic cloud of venus. Recent studies show that phosphine is present in the atmosphere gives the hope of potential life on venus. 

In 1962 mariner 2 space mission to Venus was launched to give us the real data about what is the real condition on venus, some scientist says the temperature on venus can go from 600 to 900◦ Celsius and after the successful space probe on venus, it found out that venus maintain a constant temperature of 500◦ Celsius and air pressure is measured as 92 bar which is approximately 100 times the pressure on earth this pressure is similar when you go deep at 1000m in the ocean. venus also has sulfuric acid clouds (also known as oil of vitriol) which give its acidic environment, in such an environment, and given the hostile characteristics of the Venusian weather, life as we know it is highly unlikely to occur.

There are theories which say liquid water may be present on the venus atmosphere before runaway greenhouse effect, In this solar radiation trapped inside the atmosphere and increase the surface temperature which will evaporate all the water bodies present on that planet, so before the runaway greenhouse effect life could be there on venus some fictional comics are based on this.

Recent studies in 2019 show that venus may have surface water and provide a habitable condition for around 3 billion years ago and this time is enough for microbial life to evolved to be aerial on venus. 

fig : Phosphine
fig : Phosphine

In studies found that habitat zone can be in between 51 km to 62 km within the acidic cloud and clouds of venus contain chemicals that can initiate biological activity and any microorganism inhabitant this atmosphere could use UV as a source of energy provided by the sun. in 1963 carl sagan do UV photograph of venus and show unknown UV absorbance and give the hypothesis that upper atmosphere contains microorganism which absorbs UV light. In January 2020 scientists see that venus is volcanic activities and residues from this will be a potential nutrient source for microorganisms. September 2020 scientists find phosphine in the venus atmosphere which was not linked to any known abiotic method of production of the present, phosphine (PH3) is linked with the anaerobic ecosystem on Earth and may indicate life on anoxic exoplanets. So the detectable amount of phosphine could indicate life and the theory also give a potential explanation of dark streaks on the surface of the venus. 

Although the possibility that life may exist in venus clouds may seem impossible as in cloud droplets they can precipitate on the surface which has a temperature of 500◦ and then the death of microbes. Some scientist says they would be able to lay dormant forms until planetary up drifts would push them back upwards to more hospitable which bring them back to life. These are some hypotheses and these findings could raise some interesting questions about life in-universe. 

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_on_Venus#:~:text=the%20journal%20Nature.-,Habitability%20of%20its%20atmosphere,in%20the%20atmosphere%20of%20Venus.
  2. https://www.labroots.com/trending/space/18647/life-venus
  3. https://jalanews.com/astronomers-found-possible-hints-of-life-on-venus-as-phosphine-gas/
  4. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-15/is-there-life-on-venus-what-the-discovery-of-phosphine-means/12664504

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