Life on Venus: It’s possible that Venus’s ‘hellish’ terrain is inhospitable after all.
A new study from Queen’s University in Belfast has discovered that Venus is too dry to support life.
Last year, a team led by astronomers from Cardiff University discovered the chemical phosphine (PH3) in the planet’s atmosphere, causing a stir in the scientific world.
The chemical that is considered to be created by life is also found in trace levels in the Earth’s atmosphere.
As a result, scientists came to the conclusion that the planet could support life.
Phosphine is produced by a biological mechanism that suggests microbial life on what was previously regarded to be an uninhabitable “hellscape.”
Venus is the same size as Earth, but it is much hotter and drier. The planet, which is named after the Roman goddess of love but has active volcanoes and a toxic atmosphere, appears to be uninhabitable.
This thrilling finding in September 2020 has prompted many scientists to investigate the possibilities of life on Venus and what that would entail.
However, other astronomers were skeptical of the findings.
The clouds on Venus are too dry for any living beings to survive, according to a new study.
Dr. John Hallsworth is a microbiologist at Belfast’s School of Biological Sciences, and his area of interest is the response of living organisms to stress.
“We discovered that the effective concentration of water molecules is not only somewhat below what is needed for the most tenacious bacterium on Earth, but it is also more than 100 times too low,” he told the BBC. It’s near the bottom of the scale, and an insurmountable barrier between what life needed in order to be active.”
Prof Jane Greaves of Cardiff University, who led the original 2020 study, praised Dr Hallsworth’s findings, but expressed optimism regarding life on Venus.
“We discussed this last year at length; we know Venus’s atmosphere is incredibly dry, but we don’t know how well mixed it is.
She told BBC News, “A colleague, Paul Rimmer, has published a paper showing that some cloud droplets could have a very high water content.”
With so much doubt and curiosity surrounding the planet, Nasa has announced two missions to discover more about it. They are scheduled to debut in 2030.
Nasa announced the two projects in early June, each receiving £352 million ($500 million) to further our understanding of the planet.
“Brinkwire Summary News” from the European Space Agency.