On September 14, an international team of scientists announced that they had found strong evidence of possible signs of life on Venus through two telescopes in Hawaii and Chile. They detected a gas called phosphine in Venus’ acidic clouds. What’s going on? Let’s look down together!
Venus is one of the eight planets in the solar system. It is also an earth like planet. Some people call it the Sister star of the earth.
Structurally, Venus has a radius of about 6073 km, only 300 km smaller than the earth. Its volume is 0.88 times that of the earth, its mass is four fifths that of the earth, and its average density is slightly less than that of the earth.
Although Venus is very similar to the earth in structure, the results detected by scientists at present show that their environment is very different. As we all know, the earth has a thick and suitable atmosphere, sunshine and rich liquid water, which is very suitable for the growth of life. But Venus is not like this. Venus not only does not have liquid water, but also has more than 97% carbon dioxide in its atmosphere. Its surface temperature is extremely high, about 500 degrees Celsius, and its atmospheric pressure is more than 90 times that of the earth. Besides, it also has corrosive acid rain from time to time.
How can life be born under such cruel natural conditions? Therefore, although Venus is closer to the earth than Mars, scientists still spend a lot of energy to explore Mars, not Venus.
In deep space exploration, human beings have been committed to looking for extraterrestrial life. Recently, the new discovery in the atmosphere of Venus shows that microorganisms may be living in the greenhouse planet full of sulfuric acid in the cloud. There are signs of life, because scientists have detected the existence of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus.
How does phosphine on Venus come from? Why is life likely to exist in the presence of phosphine?
Phosphine is a colorless, highly toxic and flammable gas, which needs to be liquefied and compressed in steel cylinders. There are only two ways to form phosphine on earth, the researchers say. One is man-made production, which people will produce in industrial activities. Second, in the case of biological metabolism, it is generated by anaerobic organisms.
However, according to the information available to scientists, there is no phosphine that can be produced by non biological means in the atmosphere, clouds, surface and underground of Venus, nor can volcanoes, lightning strikes and meteorites that fall into the atmosphere.
So scientists give two explanations
1. There is some kind of photochemical or geochemical reaction unknown to us;
2. There may be life on Venus.
When these two explanations come out, people have a heated discussion. Because the possibility of life on Venus has received widespread attention. MIT astronomer Sara Seager said:
Venus may have microbes, and the most likely way to survive is to get sunlight and water in the clouds.
Although the existence of hydrogen sulfide in Venus is only the result of observation, scientists have not collected any samples, and this conjecture has yet to be further confirmed.
However, Xiaobian believes that the universe is so vast, to borrow the famous American astronomer Carl Sagan said: the universe is bigger than anyone can imagine, if only we, it would be a waste of space. Therefore, the signs of life on Venus need to be further explored and confirmed by scientists through science and technology.
What do you think of the signs of life on Venus? Welcome to comment area.