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For a long time it has been discussed that they will be the mysterious spots in the clouds of Venus, today a group of researchers proposes that there is a nest of microorganisms there.
Life on other planets was previously sought in relation to water, but clouds show that they are also an appropriate, if sometimes extreme, survival environment.
Grzegorz Słowik from the University of Zielona Gora in Poland, found that some bacteria on Earth have light-absorbing properties similar to the unidentified particles seen in unexplained dark spots in the clouds of Venus, reports a study published in the journal Astrobiology on March 30.
Spectroscopic observations, especially in the ultraviolet, show thatdark patches are made up of concentrated sulfuric acid and other unknown light-absorbing particles. Slowik and Limaye believeVenusian bacteria live there.
In Earth's atmosphere, microorganisms have been found alive at altitudes of up to 41 kilometers (25 miles) by scientists using specially equipped balloons, according to David J Smith of NASA's Ames Research Center, who is also involved in the investigation.
The group of researchers suggests that life in the clouds of Venus would be just as there is in the clouds of Earth, because in addition “there is a growing catalog of microbes that are known to inhabit very aggressive environments on our planet:in Yellowstone hot springs, deep ocean hydrothermal vents, toxic sludge from polluted areas, and in acidic lakes around the world. "
“On Earth, we know that life can thrive in very acidic conditions,can feed on carbon dioxide, and produce sulfuric acid"Says Rakesh Mogul, a professor of biological chemistry at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, and a co-author of the new paper.
An analysis of data from a series of international space probes launched at Venus between 1962 and 1978 showed that the temperature and pressure conditions in the lower and middle parts of Venus's atmosphere, about 40 and 60 kilometers (25-27 miles) would not prevent microbial life from thriving, even above 450 degrees Celsius (860 degrees Fahrenheit).
"Venus has had a long time to evolve in its own lifetime," explains Sanjay Limaye, a planetary scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, who led the study.
Limaye conducts his research as a NASA Participating Scientist in the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Akatsuki mission to Venus,
The Akatsuki probe was launched in May 2010
Current observations and characteristics of Venus suggest that it oncethe planet had a habitable climate with liquid water on its surface for more than 2 billion years.
"That is much longer than what is believed to have happened on Mars.Limaye highlights.
The habitability of the clouds of Venus is not a new suggestion. According to the University of Wiskonsin Mdison, it was first raised in 1967 by the prominent biophysicist Harold Morowitz and the famous astronomer Carl Sagan. Decades later, planetary scientists David Grinspoon, Mark Bullock, and their colleagues also expanded on the idea.
By Anastasia Gubin