Given its proximity to the sun and its harsh conditions, life on Venus sounds like an impossible prospect. However, researchers have discovered this might not be as an unusual thing as you might expect. Life on Venus might be possible in the clouds. Unfortunately for us, humans will still not be able to survive on such a planet.
Human life is impossible on Venus
Venus sports quite some extreme conditions, starting with its days and nights that last for 100 Earth days, and finishing with the huge temperatures on its surface. Therefore, even thinking about bringing humans to the planet sounds like an impossible dream. However, this doesn’t mean the prospect of life on Venus is completely unrealistic.
Researchers have just discovered that some bacterial colonies might be able to survive on the scorching planet up in the clouds, at an altitude of 30 miles in the atmosphere. After studying Earth bacteria, they found out it could live at such an altitude, so they decided to look at other planets as well.
It seems the atmosphere of Venus has the ideal conditions at that altitude for bacteria to survive. The pressure is just right, while the temperature switches from 880 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface to merely 140 degrees in the air. However, researchers decided to look for possible impediments.
Microscopical life on Venus might exist in its atmosphere
For instance, one great issue might be the highly acidic properties of the atmosphere. However, evidence collected from Earth bacteria shows they can cope with that. Some other evidence came to support this life on Venus hypothesis as well.
Mars isn’t the only planet that once had liquid water and could support life. It turns out Venus hosted the same conditions for about 2 billion years. Throughout this timespan, it must have evolved at least some sort of bacterial life. This life is likely to have taken refuge in the planet’s atmosphere, judging from its dark patches. These might resemble those Earth bacteria that absorb light.
Although it’s impossible for humans to ever live on this scorching planet, life on Venus might really be possible. These pieces of evidence might put up a bigger theory that some bacteria actually live in Venus’ atmosphere. More details on the study have been published in the journal Astrobiology.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons