Researchers from Cambridge University have concluded that there is no life on Venus. Extraterrestrial life search is an exciting endeavor. Even bacteria on another planet can be referred to as aliens, despite the common misconception that they have tentacles, large eyes, and other features. While we are desperate to find evidence in our Solar System as well, our search for aliens has us focusing our lenses on the far reaches of space. Our neighbors Mars and Venus are two of the best candidates in this regard.
But today, scientists from Cambridge University claim that an “aerial” form of extraterrestrial life cannot account for the unusual behavior of sulfur in Venus’ atmosphere. Since many years ago, people have been speculating that Veuns’ sulfurous clouds contain microbiological life.
Any sufficiently numerous life form should leave chemical traces in the environment as it eats nutrients and excretes waste. The Cambridge scientists, however, found no proof of these fingerprints on Venus.
Even if Venus is lifeless, the researchers claim that their findings, which were published in the journal Nature Communications, may still be helpful for researching the atmospheres of other planets with a similar composition throughout the galaxy and the potential discovery of extraterrestrial life.
According to co-author Dr. Paul Rimmer from Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences, “We’ve spent the last two years attempting to explain the odd sulphur chemistry we detect in the clouds of Venus.” We have been researching whether there is a way to make life a plausible explanation for what we see because life is fairly adept at strange chemistry.
Researchers examined chemical processes that should take place on Venus using atmospheric and biological models to come to their findings.
Sean Jordan, the paper’s first author from Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy, said, “We looked at the sulphur-based ‘meal’ accessible in the Venusian atmosphere—not it’s anything you or I would like to eat, but it is the main available energy source.” We should notice signs of it through certain chemicals being lost and gained in the environment if that food is being devoured by life.
According to co-author Dr. Oliver Shorttle from Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences and Institute of Astronomy, “If life is present, it must be changing the atmospheric chemistry.” Could life on Venus be the cause of the sharp decline in SO2 levels?
“We wanted life to be a possible explanation, but after running the models, we found that it is not a workable answer. But even if life isn’t the cause of what we observe on Venus, there are still plenty of weird chemistry phenomena to investigate “Sean Jordan said