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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Bruce Wayne, Apr 13, 2015.
Let's name it after Priapus, amirite?
I know we don't know the extent to which life can survive in extreme environments but Venus' surface is like 900 degrees.
Hydrothermal vents in bottom of ocean are stupid hot and have life in them.
Right. But those are in water. We don't really have a dry land analog on Earth to compare, I suppose. Venus' surface pressure is also like being 3,000 feet deep in the ocean. If there's life on a planet with that sort of surface temperature and pressure, there should be life everywhere.
Additionally: the gas detected is phosphine, which we have tried at length to produce through non-biotic processes that could feasibly occur naturally on a rocky planet without life and came up blank, leading us to conclude that it is a compelling biosignature not far behind free oxygen in terms of strength of evidence that life exists on that planet. For one, it breaks down pretty soon on exposure to UV light, so there must be an active source continually producing it high up in the atmosphere somehow. For two, it's been discovered concentrated within what we would call the habitable zone of Venus's atmosphere - that is to say, Earthlike temperatures and pressures. Not quite habitable for us, considering that the atmosphere is full of sulfuric acid at these altitudes!
This discovery is very exciting. Either we've discovered legitimate alien life on Venus of some kind, or we've discovered some fancy new chemistry that we were unaware of.
Who says it's on the surface?
Also wonder if it could be trapped from former life before the planet was 800 degrees
Summary from ^
Phosphine has been detected, starting back in 17. Two completely independent observations can conclude that it almost is a positive detection of phosphine.
If there was a living colony of living microorganisms on Venus, they would be floating around in the atmosphere traveling from the north and south poles. While it is a small discovery of phosphine, it is there as shown by the reaction between UV light and phosphine recorded during the two separate observations.
The suspected organisms on Venus are producing the phosphine at 10% what is seen on Earth at 20 parts per billion.
Potential sources have been ruled out, such as rocks under the surface to volcanic activity creating the phosphine, as they would produce phosphine at a billion to quadrillion magnitude smaller than what is being detected.
The last two possibilities is: either a completely new understanding of how phosphine are created has been discovered or it is being created from organisms in the clouds of Venus.
The phosphine is being discovered in the clouds of Venus where the temperature is not too cold and not too hot (the temperate zone), the only possible place it could survive in the clouds.
They're not claiming life on Venus, rather they are claiming confirmed phosphine on Venus, which is a step on confirming life outside of Earth. Venus could have harbored life millions of years ago only to be wiped out due to extreme conditions. Life could have potentially migrated to life in the cloud of Venus.
The team believes that Venus is higher on the list of potential places that could harbor life, and that future missions should keep Venus in mind for the search for life outside of Earth.
AMA on Twitter and Reddit tomorrow
That second point would make a lot of sense.
Maybe there's life in a lab setting in the clouds on venus
I think phosphine has a really short half life, so there wouldn't be any residual gas from life that existed eons ago.
I will undoubtedly watch, but anyone who has read the book knows that there is no way this will be a completely faithful re-telling if its a Disney production.
It was originally developed by National Geographic with Appian Way Productions and Warner. It just recently transitioned to Disney, so maybe it will be more like the book.
Voyager 1 crossed 14 Billion miles from Earth this evening!
That's far in the small scheme of things, and not far at all in the big.
A light year is 6 trillion miles. Voyager 1, traveling at 10 miles (17km) per second for 43 years, has gone only 0.002 LY.
I implore you to have a quick look at their tracking website and interactive map they created.
Read this in Carl Sagan's voice.