Study Claims Alien Lifeforms Might Be Lurking Under Venus Clouds
| LAST UPDATE 12/23/2021
Is there other life out there? Or perhaps are we alone in this universe? It's a question that's troubled researchers since the beginning of time. But according to a new study, there might be life lurking elsewhere in our Solar System - more specifically, among the clouds of Venus. Here's what scientists recently uncovered.
It all started when a team of researchers from Cardiff University, MIT and Cambridge University set off to study the presence of ammonia on Venus. As for why it piqued their interest? Ammonia's presence on the planet has actually been a cause for concern since its discovery in the 1970s. And perhaps with good reason.
"Ammonia shouldn't be on Venus," co-author of the study, Professor Sara Seager explained. "It has hydrogen attached to it, and there's very little hydrogen around. Any gas that doesn't belong in the context of its environment is automatically suspicious for being made by life."
So, Seager, with the help of her colleagues, modeled a set of chemical processes to show that if ammonia is present, the gas would cause a series of reactions that would neutralize surrounding droplets of sulphuric acid. If their experiment was deemed a success, it would also prove that "if something is making ammonia in [Venus'] clouds, then that will neutralise some of the droplets, making them potentially more habitable," as co-author William Bains explained. Well, did it?
As Seager further revealed, their findings suggested an unidentified life source might be creating the bizarre Ammonia-ridden environment on Venus. "No life that we know of could survive in the Venus droplets," she explained. "But the point is, maybe some life is there, and is modifying its environment so that it is liveable."
While the team's proposal of alien lifeforms might seem far-fetched for some, they're hopeful to put their theory to the test when Venus-bound missions eventually become a reality. And with the Venus Life Finder mission already scheduled for 2023? Who knows what discoveries await us on The Morning Star?
Until then, stay tuned. And be sure to check out the full study, detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.