What if the atmosphere of Venus sheltered life well?

Venus is a very inhospitable neighbor. With temperatures around 400 ° it could nevertheless shelter life.

It’s a stubborn rumor that hangs in the minds of scientists like the sticking plaster on Captain Hadock’s finger. Yet many refuse to believe it, but the more optimistic supporters are more and more numerous. As this group grows, it gains in credibility, and most importantly, it multiplies circumstantial evidence.

Without really fully understanding how, it would indeed be quite possible that the atmosphere of Venus lodges forms of life. Primitive, microbial or bacterial, it doesn’t matter, life is there, and if this hypothesis ends up being proven, it would sign a real revolution in our conception of life, the Universe and how it works.

The idea of ​​alien life is for science fiction only

For a long time we thought that we were not alone, that somewhere in the sky other people like us, at least other living species exist. But for a little less than half a century, this fantasy has fallen into the world of science fiction and pop culture.

Scientists no longer believe in the presence of extraterrestrial life, at least certainly not in our solar system. And yet there is no shortage of candidates. Starting with the Moons of Jupiter, in particular Europe, which certainly has an ocean of liquid water under its surface, a perfect breeding ground for life, would you say? Nothing less sure.

Venus: ideal candidate in spite of herself?

Indeed, the conditions for life to develop on a planet or a moon are very particular, and it is certainly not on the very inhospitable Venus that life could take root.

And yet, as strange as it may seem, it is within the very dense atmosphere of our neighbor that life could exist. Scientists are increasingly less to think so. No need to think for a second that life could exist on the scorching ground of Venus. The latter is on average at 460 ° C, while the unbreathable air is 96% composed of carbon dioxide. Add to that winds around 360 km / h.

So it doesn’t take a doctorate in astronomy to understand how inhospitable the “twin sister of the Earth” as she may be called is. But according to the most optimistic scientists, pockets of life do exist on Venus. These are found in the atmosphere of the planet.

Indeed, since the 70s and its exploration by the Soviets, traces of ammonia had been detected around the planet. Since then, scientists have found traces of oxygen, but also of water vapor. More clues suggesting that life could and can still exist on Venus.

According to a brand new study by researchers at MIT, Venusian clouds 50 kilometers above sea level would be the best candidates. These would even be “Potentially habitable” under very specific conditions.

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