publish date 2022-01-05 09:49:13
A number of researchers have revealed that the ammonia gas present in the atmosphere of Venus may be evidence of the possibility of living on it.
Researchers from Cardiff University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge have suggested that Venus, which is also described as the “twin” of Earth due to its rocky composition, could contain a colorless gas consisting of nitrogen and hydrogen also known as “ammonia”, a gas that may come from biological sources.
The scientists carried out an array of chemical processes to show how a series of chemical reactions could neutralize surrounding sulfuric acid droplets if there were any traces of ammonia.
This will cause the pH of the clouds to drop from -11 to zero, and although this is still very acidic, it is an indicator of the possibility of life.
Astronomers and scientists have been studying ammonia in the upper atmosphere of Venus since the 1970s, especially since it was always believed that the planet was so hot that life forms would not be able to survive there.
“Any gas that does not belong in the context of its environment is automatically suspicious because it is made of life,” said study co-author Professor Sarah Seeger from the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) at MIT.
Some researchers question this hypothesis, suggesting instead that the gas could result from unexplained atmospheric or geological processes on Venus.
“This is very exciting,” said David Grinspoon of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, who has long promoted the possibility of life in the clouds of Venus.
“Although the work needs follow-up, this may be the first study we have conducted that reveals an alien biosphere on the closest planet to Earth,” he added.
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