For many years, scientists have been studyingthe search for life on Mars. But who knows, maybe they are looking in the wrong place? In 2017, researchers in the US and UK began looking for signs of life on Venus, the second planet from the Sun. Directly on its surface, life cannot exist due to too harsh conditions, but in the upper atmosphere, conditions are almost the same as on Earth. After three years of careful study of the upper atmosphere of Venus, the researchers published the results of the work done. It turned out that the harsh planet contains gas, referred to as phosphine... It also exists on our planet and is excreted in large quantities by microorganisms adapted to extreme conditions. So maybe there are tenacious creatures on Venus? Let's figure it out.
- 1 Life on Venus
- 2 How are astronomers looking for aliens?
- 3 Source of gas on Venus
- 4 Mission "Venus-D"
Life on Venus
One of the first people to talk aboutthe possibility of life on Venus, was the American astronomer Carl Sagan. He said that in the upper layers of the planet's atmosphere, quite good conditions for the life of microorganisms can remain. But on the surface of Venus, living organisms are unlikely to exist. And all because the temperature is kept there at 462 degrees, and besides, it contains a large amount of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and sulfur. Water vapor and oxygen are completely absent. But at an altitude of 50-60 kilometers, the conditions for the existence of living organisms are very good. At a minimum, atmospheric pressure and temperature are the same as on Earth.
How are astronomers looking for aliens?
Astronomers are looking for life on other planets the mostdifferent ways. One of them is the search for so-called biosignatures. Almost all living organisms leave behind traces in the form of chemical compounds. For example, microorganisms capable of living in extreme conditions release large amounts of a gas called phosphine. Its chemical formula consists of three hydrogen atoms and one phosphorus atom. To look for signs of phosphine and other biosignatures in the clouds of Venus, the scientists used the James Maxwell telescopes and the ALMA system. The results of this work were shared by the Associated Press news agency.
Apart from Carl Sagan, the likelihood of existencelife on Venus was also suggested by astrobiologist David Grinspoon. But even this scientist doubts the existence of life on the second planet from the Sun. According to him, this news is too good to be true. But most often the answer to complex questions is right under the person's nose. So maybe life is not hidden far beyond the solar system, but right in it? In Mars, too, life could exist, but it, judging by the traces of dried up Martian rivers, has already died out. And life on Venus may still exist.
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Most likely to identify the exact source of phosphine onVenus will succeed only within the framework of the Russian-American mission "Venera-D". Only now, the launch of the interplanetary station of the same name is scheduled for the period from 2029 to 2031, that is, scientists do not even have an exact date yet. According to Nathan Eismont, an employee of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the sensational news may change the design of the station. In particular, at the moment there are already talks about the introduction of devices for the search for extraterrestrial life into Venus-D.
Scientists are constantly looking for signs of life on othersplanets within the framework of projects referred to as SETI. Astronomers recently tried to find signs of extraterrestrial civilizations among 10 million stars. What they managed to find, you can find out in this material.