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Alien Life Signs Possibly Detected on Venus, Says Study

Alien Life Signs Possibly Detected on Venus, Says Study

Telltale signs of life — spots of phosphine gas — may point to the presence of alien life on Venus.

There may be life on Venus.

Researchers detected spots of phosphine in the atmosphere of the planet Venus — telltale signs of alien life — in quantities high enough to stretch non-biological explanations, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

In other words, we may have just found alien life in our solar system.

Possibly alien life signs detected on Venus, says study

The researchers emphasize caution against jumping to conclusions, since there is no way of finding out for certain what the findings mean. In their paper, they said this detection “is not robust evidence for life, only for anomalous and unexplained chemistry,” adding that additional work is needed to know for sure.

However, all other known explanations have been ruled out, said the scientists, reports The Independent.

All but alien life.

UPDATE September 14, 12:48 PM EDT: Phosphine ‘biosignature’ confirmed on Venus

Here on Earth, phosphine is among the foulest-smelling and toxic gases known. It smells like rotting fish and occurs near pond slime and penguin droppings. While it’s also made via some industrial processes, it’s also a by-product of anaerobic organisms like microbes and bacteria.

This makes the researchers’ findings an excellent “biosignature,” or scientific sign of life. In the past, scientists have suggested large quantities of phosphine as a possible indicator of alien life — now confirmed on our sister planet, Venus.

UPDATE September 14, 12:57 PM EDT: Gas actively produced despite Venus’ inhospitable conditions

If there is alien life on Venus, it’s extremely resilient. The surface of our sister planet is hot and acidic, creating an unforgiving and inhospitable environment for life. But the environment in the upper cloud decks are considered more habitable — roughly 35 miles (56.3 km) high, conditions are more viable for life as we know it.

This is where phosphine gas is thought to be present. The clouds in this area are so acidic that they would eliminate phosphine quickly, which means something must be actively forming the phosphine at quantities not easily explained by non-biological alternatives, according to the researchers.

The team of researchers is led by Jane Greaves of Cardiff University. “Either phosphine is produced by some sort of chemical or geological process that no-one knows about — or there could be a biological reason,” said Emily Drabik-Maunder, an author on the paper and an astrophysicist from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, The Independent reports.

This is breaking news, so be sure to return here for the latest developments.

Source: Brad Bergan / interestingengineering

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