Even within the extreme conditions on Venus, life can develop itself. Judging by how things happen on Earth, life can even exist under harsh conditions. On our neighboring planet Venus, it rains with sulphuric acid, the atmosphere is almost completely made of carbon dioxide, the surface temperature is 467 degrees Celsius, and the atmospheric pressure is 93 bar (9.3 MPa), meaning the same pressure that’s found 900 m (3,000 ft) underwater on Earth.
But despite even such a hellish place like Venus, scientists found an important sign of life. The sign is represented by traces of phosphine, a toxic gas that shouldn’t be present judging by what scientists knew previously about Venus.
Phosphine on Earth is produced by microorganisms
Therefore, you can easily guess why scientists believe that there could be alien life on Venus. In fact, the presence of life on our neighboring planet is the best explanation for why phosphine emerges. This still doesn’t necessarily mean that aliens exist on Venus, as further studies are needed. It could mean that phosphine is triggered by processes that scientists didn’t manage to understand yet.
A new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy is revealing the exciting news. The presence of the toxic gas phosphine was detected by two telescopes from Hawaii and Chile.
Sara Seager, co-author of the new study and an MIT planetary scientist, said that the team of researchers “exhaustively went through every possibility and ruled all of them out: volcanoes, lightning strikes, small meteorites falling into the atmosphere. We worked all the known chemistry possible that might occur in Venus’s atmosphere, on the surface and the subsurface. Not a single process we looked at could produce phosphine in high enough quantities to explain our team’s findings.”
The scientist was also clear by saying:
“So we are left with two remote possibilities. One is that there’s some unknown chemistry, some chemistry we don’t know about. The second more intriguing possibility is that there might be some kind of life-form in the Venus atmosphere that is producing the phosphine that we have detected,”
Therefore, don’t open the champagne just yet. If phosphine on Venus is truly triggered by alien life, it can only be in the form of microbes, which is far from the little green men with advanced technology that we’re all hoping to encounter.