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Life on Venus could be hiding in its strange clouds

Life on Venus could be hiding in its strange clouds

Venus clouds.

A team of scientists who modeled the atmosphere of Venus found data that could help Explanation of the puzzling chemistry of planet clouds. The results reinforce the possibility of life in the space of Venus Atmosphere, a still controversial idea that will be explored By many tasks planned in torrid planet.

Venus is the second planet from the sun, which makes it hotter than Earth. Besides the planet’s heat, Venus is a barren, rocky wasteland dominated by volcanoes. Handsomeness Sulfuric acid withdrawal. This cloud layer about 12 miles thick covers the surface of the planet to ground observers most of the time, and more recently this is He was in the spotlight like Possible hiding place for extraterrestrial life.

Recent research has formulated these clouds more deeply, and scientists I found that the clouds on the planet are not completely sulfuric acid compound But it contains a certain amount of ammonium salt suspensions. Study team It was published In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Our model predicts that clouds do not consist entirely of concentrated sulfuric acid, but that cloud droplets are partially neutralized. Our model assumes that the acid-neutralizing compound in clouds is ammonia. The source of the ammonia is unknown, but it could be the result of biological production of ammonia in cloud droplets. Because of the acid equation, clouds are no more acidic than some of Earth’s extreme environments that harbor life.

Recent work is based on high-level research published Last year in Nature, which claimed the reveal phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus. (The scientists behind the new article were also among the authors of the phosphine article.) Phosphine is produced by microorganisms that do not need oxygen to survive, so the presence of the gas was a surprising and exciting sign that something biological could be going on in these organisms. clouds. discovery It was controversial that other researchers said that the putative signal from phosphine was indeed Only sulfur dioxide, While Others suggested activeOlkanos, Not life, can be responsible.

“No life that we know of can live in the droplets of Venus,” said Sarah Seeger, a planetary scientist at MIT and co-author of the new study, at the institute. release. “But the point is, maybe some life is out there and changing its surroundings to become habitable.”

The new paper did not focus on phosphine but rather Some unexplained chemical signatures in clouds. Years of observations indicated more water vapor and sulfur dioxide than expected. The researchers thought that ammonia could explain these anomalies.

“Ammonia shouldn’t be on Venus,” Seger added.. “There is hydrogen attached to it, and there is very little hydrogen around. It is automatically suspected that any gas that does not belong to the context of its environment is synthesized by life.

Da Vinci +.

the The models indicated that, If microorganisms exist on Venus and Ammonia production, oxygen will be released as a byproduct. Additionally, ammonia (a basic substance) neutralizes sulfuric acid droplets in clouds, making them somewhat habitable. While all this work was done using forms, futuristic space probe missions can Help us get answers for what it really is It occurs in clouds.

These missions are NASA’s VERITAS and DAVINCI+, ESA’s orbital EnVision and (possibly) the privately funded project. Search missions for Venus LiveAnd which Seager and Petkowski are working on. The latter is the only one The primary purpose is to investigate the possibility of alien life on Venus, but space agency missions will likely collect information on this issue as well. Out of these three, DAVINCI+ is the only mission that will really get into the Atmosphere and sampling during the landing of the spacecraft to the surface of the planet.

If extraterrestrial life is detected as well Fossilized on MarsAnd It thrives in the clouds of Venus, or swims in frozen moon ocean-this is It would be one of the most important scientific discoveries of all time. But there is a long and uncertain way before such claims are made.

MORE: 7 Strangest Things About Venus, Planet Hell

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