Scientists on the planet of “hell” Venus have identified unique clouds of gas that could indicate the existence of life.
In these gas clouds, scientists spotted traces of phosphine, which is life-related on Earth, with telescopes in Hawaii and Chile, according to DW.
Although one of the authors of the study, David Clement, gives only a 10 percent chance that life could exist on Venus, this discovery is also extremely exciting.
Phosphine gas exists on Earth only as a product of industrial processes – it was used as a chemical weapon during the First World War – or as the result of an unexplored process in some animals and microbes.
Phosphine is found at the bottom of dried ponds, in the intestines of some animals, such as badgers, and is associated with penguin manure.
Venus and hell
Venus is an uninhabitable planet with a high temperature of 425 degrees Celsius and no water. However, astronomers explain that 48 kilometers above the surface of Venus, there is a thick layer of carbon dioxide that has cooled to room temperature and contains tiny water droplets and sulfuric acid.
The authors of the study think that potential life in these water droplets could most likely be unicellular microbes.
Another possible explanation for the existence of phosphine is volcanic activity on the planet.
“I am happy, but cautious. We found encouraging signs that need to be explored further, ”commented astrobiologist David Greenspoon.