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Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 14th 20, 07:01 PM posted to sci.space.policy
[email protected]
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Posts: 682
Default Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds

"High in the toxic atmosphere of the planet Venus, astronomers on Earth have
discovered signs of what might be life.

If the discovery is confirmed by additional telescope observations and future
space missions, it could turn the gaze of scientists toward one of the brightest
objects in the night sky. Venus, named after the Roman goddess of beauty, roasts
at temperatures of hundreds of degrees and is cloaked by clouds that contain
droplets of corrosive sulfuric acid. Few have focused on the rocky planet as a
habitat for something living.

Instead, for decades, scientists have sought signs of life elsewhere, usually
peering outward to Mars and more recently at Europa, Enceladus and other icy
moons of the giant planets.

The astronomers, who reported the finding on Monday in a pair of papers, have
not collected specimens of Venusian microbes, nor have they snapped any pictures
of them. But with powerful telescopes, they have detected a chemical — phosphine
— in the thick Venus atmosphere. After much analysis, the scientists assert that
something now alive is the only explanation for the chemical’s source.

Some researchers question this hypothesis, and they suggest instead that the gas
could result from unexplained atmospheric or geologic processes on a planet that
remains mysterious. But the finding will also encourage some planetary
scientists to ask whether humanity has overlooked a planet that may have once
been more Earthlike than any other world in our solar system.

“This is an astonishing and ‘out of the blue’ finding,” said Sara Seager, a
planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an author
of the papers (one published in Nature Astronomy and another submitted to the
journal Astrobiology). “It will definitely fuel more research into the
possibilities for life in Venus’s atmosphere.”"

See:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/14/s...fe-clouds.html
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  #2  
Old September 14th 20, 08:04 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Dean Markley
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Posts: 492
Default Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds

On Monday, September 14, 2020 at 2:01:21 PM UTC-4, wrote:
"High in the toxic atmosphere of the planet Venus, astronomers on Earth have
discovered signs of what might be life.

If the discovery is confirmed by additional telescope observations and future
space missions, it could turn the gaze of scientists toward one of the brightest
objects in the night sky. Venus, named after the Roman goddess of beauty, roasts
at temperatures of hundreds of degrees and is cloaked by clouds that contain
droplets of corrosive sulfuric acid. Few have focused on the rocky planet as a
habitat for something living.

Instead, for decades, scientists have sought signs of life elsewhere, usually
peering outward to Mars and more recently at Europa, Enceladus and other icy
moons of the giant planets.

The astronomers, who reported the finding on Monday in a pair of papers, have
not collected specimens of Venusian microbes, nor have they snapped any pictures
of them. But with powerful telescopes, they have detected a chemical — phosphine
— in the thick Venus atmosphere. After much analysis, the scientists assert that
something now alive is the only explanation for the chemical’s source.

Some researchers question this hypothesis, and they suggest instead that the gas
could result from unexplained atmospheric or geologic processes on a planet that
remains mysterious. But the finding will also encourage some planetary
scientists to ask whether humanity has overlooked a planet that may have once
been more Earthlike than any other world in our solar system.

“This is an astonishing and ‘out of the blue’ finding,” said Sara Seager, a
planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an author
of the papers (one published in Nature Astronomy and another submitted to the
journal Astrobiology). “It will definitely fuel more research into the
possibilities for life in Venus’s atmosphere.”"

See:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/14/s...fe-clouds.html



Now lets get that Venus balloon project going!
  #3  
Old September 14th 20, 08:13 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Alain Fournier[_3_]
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Posts: 485
Default Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds

On Sep/14/2020 at 14:01, wrote :
"High in the toxic atmosphere of the planet Venus, astronomers on Earth have
discovered signs of what might be life.

If the discovery is confirmed by additional telescope observations and future
space missions, it could turn the gaze of scientists toward one of the brightest
objects in the night sky. Venus, named after the Roman goddess of beauty, roasts
at temperatures of hundreds of degrees and is cloaked by clouds that contain
droplets of corrosive sulfuric acid. Few have focused on the rocky planet as a
habitat for something living.

Instead, for decades, scientists have sought signs of life elsewhere, usually
peering outward to Mars and more recently at Europa, Enceladus and other icy
moons of the giant planets.

The astronomers, who reported the finding on Monday in a pair of papers, have
not collected specimens of Venusian microbes, nor have they snapped any pictures
of them. But with powerful telescopes, they have detected a chemical — phosphine
— in the thick Venus atmosphere. After much analysis, the scientists assert that
something now alive is the only explanation for the chemical’s source.

Some researchers question this hypothesis, and they suggest instead that the gas
could result from unexplained atmospheric or geologic processes on a planet that
remains mysterious. But the finding will also encourage some planetary
scientists to ask whether humanity has overlooked a planet that may have once
been more Earthlike than any other world in our solar system.

“This is an astonishing and ‘out of the blue’ finding,” said Sara Seager, a
planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an author
of the papers (one published in Nature Astronomy and another submitted to the
journal Astrobiology). “It will definitely fuel more research into the
possibilities for life in Venus’s atmosphere.”"

See:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/14/s...fe-clouds.html

If I recall correctly, it was Pat Flannery who would talk about the
purple haired Venusian fire ladies. If he was still around he would be
happy to know that they have microbial company.


Alain Fournier
  #4  
Old September 15th 20, 11:41 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Posts: 2,236
Default Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds

In article ,
says...

On Monday, September 14, 2020 at 2:01:21 PM UTC-4, wrote:
"High in the toxic atmosphere of the planet Venus, astronomers on Earth have
discovered signs of what might be life.


snip

See:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/14/s...fe-clouds.html


Now lets get that Venus balloon project going!


That would be a good thing. The Soviet Union's landers didn't last long
on the surface and the pictures returned revealed nothing but rocks.
It's time that the atmosphere is explored since temperatures and
pressures are much more reasonable at altitude on Venus.

But let's temper our hopes for actual life. What's been detected is a
chemical signature that could indicate life. Or it could be from a so
far unknown chemical process that's unique to the atmosphere of Venus.

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #5  
Old September 16th 20, 04:16 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Greg \(Strider\) Moore
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Posts: 731
Default Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds

"Jeff Findley" wrote in message
...

In article ,
says...
Now lets get that Venus balloon project going!


That would be a good thing. The Soviet Union's landers didn't last long
on the surface and the pictures returned revealed nothing but rocks.
It's time that the atmosphere is explored since temperatures and
pressures are much more reasonable at altitude on Venus.

But let's temper our hopes for actual life. What's been detected is a
chemical signature that could indicate life. Or it could be from a so
far unknown chemical process that's unique to the atmosphere of Venus.

Jeff


Either way, it would be good science. We either find life, or learn a new
chemical process.

I'm all for it.

I mean I love us exploring Mars, but I'd like to see a little more love for
the love planet.


--
Greg D. Moore http://greenmountainsoftware.wordpress.com/
CEO QuiCR: Quick, Crowdsourced Responses. http://www.quicr.net
IT Disaster Response -
https://www.amazon.com/Disaster-Resp...dp/1484221834/

  #6  
Old September 16th 20, 04:32 AM posted to sci.space.policy
[email protected]
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Posts: 682
Default Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds

More on Venus:

"On 14 September 2020, a study published in Nature suggested that traces of
phosphine in Venus' atmosphere could be an indication of a biological process:
that is, of microbial alien life. If confirmed, such a finding could completely
change the way we think about the universe, which has us taking a serious look
at what it would take to get human explorers to Venus in the near future. This
article was originally published on 16 December 2014."


"Dale Arney and Chris Jones, from the Space Mission Analysis Branch of NASA’s
Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at Langley Research Center, in
Virginia, have been exploring that idea. Perhaps humans could ride through the
upper atmosphere of Venus in a solar-powered airship. Arney and Jones propose
that it may make sense to go to Venus before we ever send humans to Mars.

To put NASA’s High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) mission in
context, it helps to start thinking about exploring the atmosphere of Venus
instead of exploring the surface. “The vast majority of people, when they hear
the idea of going to Venus and exploring, think of the surface, where it’s hot
enough to melt lead and the pressure is the same as if you were almost a mile
underneath the ocean,” Jones says. “I think that not many people have gone and
looked at the relatively much more hospitable atmosphere and how you might
tackle operating there for a while.”"

See:

https://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/...us-exploration

  #7  
Old September 16th 20, 04:47 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Scott Kozel
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Posts: 59
Default Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds

On Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 11:32:01 PM UTC-4, wrote:

"Dale Arney and Chris Jones, from the Space Mission Analysis Branch of NASA’s
Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at Langley Research Center, in
Virginia, have been exploring that idea. Perhaps humans could ride through the
upper atmosphere of Venus in a solar-powered airship. Arney and Jones propose
that it may make sense to go to Venus before we ever send humans to Mars.


If that airship sprung a leak, what would be their backup plan?

They would literally descend into the pits of Hell.
  #9  
Old September 16th 20, 12:25 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Posts: 2,236
Default Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds

In article ,
says...

On 2020-09-15 23:16, Greg (Strider) Moore wrote:

Either way, it would be good science. We either find life, or learn a new
chemical process.


I prefer we keep our image of Venus the goddess of beauty instead of
finding out that the women in sulfuric acid Venus look more like the old
decrepid lady in The Shining :-)


The Titanic is under pressures greater than Venusian surface. (3.8km
would make it 380atm. Yet, there is life there which not only ate the
bodies and bones, but also is eating the iron from he wreck. )and there
are corals etc)


Normally, 100C is enough to kill off most life on Earth. But at high
pressures, wouldn't a water-based life form be possible because even at
that temperature it wouldn't boil off?


Venus nightside surface temperature, D. Singh
https://rdcu.be/b7hrr

From above:

First global map of Venus nightside surface temperature using
Akatsuki infrared measurements reveals hot Venus surface with
an average surface temperature of about 698 K.
....
On a global scale, surface temperatures show a spatial
variation of about 230 K.

Converting K to more familiar units, thats an average temperature of 797
F or 425 C! And that's the *nightside* temperatures!

I doubt you're going to find life (as we know it) at temperatures
averaging nearly 800 F at night.

In terms of life "floating" in atmosphere, would it be fair to state
that anything that evolved to grow to be heavy enough to start to fall
down would not succeed (unless able to survive at sirface) and this
would be limited to very small airborne particles ?


We don't know that, do we? Look at all the buoyant life in the oceans.
It's at least conceivable that buoyant life could evolve in the
atmosphere of Venus.

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
 




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