A Gas Found On Venus Indicating Possibility Of Life On Venus
Astronomers have found a gas in the atmosphere of the planet Venus, indicating there is life. The possibility has been raised that micro-organisms may be floating in the clouds of Venus planet.
What Is Phosphine? How Is It Indicating Possibility Of Life On Venus?
Phosphine is related to life on earth. It is associated with micro-organisms found in the stomach of animals such as penguins or found in low-oxygen sites such as marshes. This gas is excreted by micro bacteria in the absence of oxygen.
Phosphine can also be made in factories, but there is no factory on the planet Venus, and of course, there are no penguins either.
So how this gas present on Venus and that too 50 km above the planet's surface? This is the question of Professor Jane Greaves and her colleagues at Cardiff University, UK.
She published a paper in the journal Nature Astronomy, in which she has written his observation of finding phosphine on Venus in detail. Also, she has written about her research in which she has tried to tell that this molecule can be made from any natural, non-biological means.
Although the team of scientists has not claimed to have life on Venus, they have said that more should be discovered about this possibility.
How Phosphine Gas Found On Venus?
In fact, Cardiff University professor Jane Greaves and her colleagues studied spectra of the planet Venus' atmosphere with the help of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope at the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array Telescope in Chile.
This led her to detect the spectral signature of phosphine. After which scientists have expressed the possibility that this gas is in a very large amount in the clouds of Venus.
Possibility Of Life Can Be Considered
So far, whatever information we have about the planet Venus and the conditions there, the amount of phosphine that has been found there, so far no one has been able to detect the abiotic means of phosphine. This means that the possibility of life there can be considered.
Professor Jane Greaves said, "Throughout my career, I have been interested in finding life anywhere in the universe. So I feel good thinking about this possibility."
Why is this so interesting?
- The probability of life on the neighboring planet Venus is less than any other planet in the solar system. Venus is called hell in the Bible.
- Venus has a thick layer of the atmosphere, which is rich in carbon dioxide. The atmosphere here has 96% carbon dioxide. The atmospheric pressure on this planet is 90 times greater than that of the Earth.
- The surface temperature is over 400 degrees Celsius like a pizza oven.
- So if you set foot on the planet Venus, then within a few seconds you will start boiling. So even if life will be possible on Venus, we can expect 50 kilometers above its surface.
Why Are There Less Chances Of Life?
Because of the clouds, there are dense clouds, containing 75–95% sulfuric acid, which is fatal to the cellular structures that produce the living organisms on Earth.
However, scientists say that if there are micro-organisms there, then they have to make some kind of armor to avoid sulfuric acid.
Dr. William Bains, associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says, "We are talking about bacteria that has built a strong shell of Teflon around itself and has sealed itself inside. But now the question arises, How they eat? How do they do gas exchanges? This is contradictory. "
To know the answer to the question, whether there is life on Venus or not, one has to be sent there.
The US space agency NASA has asked scientists to work on a plan to send a potential flagship mission in the 2030s. The flagship will be the most capable and most expensive mission that will be sent by NASA. In this case, an instrumental balloon is being considered, which will pass through the Venus clouds.
Team member Sara Seagar said that Russia had sent its Vega Balloon in 1985. Teflon was applied nearby to protect it from sulfuric acid.
She says, "We can go there and study droplets by collecting them. Also, we can send a microscope, so that we can try to see life there."
Dr. Louise Dartnell from the University of Westminster says, "If life is found on the upper clouds of Venus, it will help us to understand many things. Because it can mean that there can be life in many places in our galaxy." If this happens, it is possible that it is not necessary for life to have a planet like Earth. Rather life can be found in our galaxy on extremely hot planets like Venus."