Whatever kind of life in Venus’s atmosphere cannot explain the special properties found there, a great mystery remains about our neighboring planet. This was determined by three astronomers from the University of Cambridge, contradicting the hypotheses about possible life on Venus. As they now explain, they have analyzed sulfur-based substances in the atmosphere of Venus, which are suitable as food for life forms.
They explain that if they are actually consumed, we should find traces of some of the chemicals being produced or disappearing. But there are no such things. While this again points to Venus as a dead planet, their work could help search for signs of life among the outer planets. In the meantime, the work once again confirms how little we know about Earth’s neighboring planet. While new probes and rovers are constantly arriving at Mars, only the Japanese Akatsuki probe is currently orbiting Venus.
Strange distribution of sulfur dioxide
The analysis by Sean Jordan’s team focuses on the extraordinary abundance of sulfur dioxide in Venus’s atmosphere. It is said to be abundant, especially in the lower classes, but mysteriously no higher. It has been speculated in the past that this mysterious distribution is due to life forms that somehow feed on sulfur dioxide. A research team presented a hypothesis about this in December. Jordan’s team has now analyzed the metabolic interactions that could explain this decrease.
The team wrote that while such reactions could indeed explain the observed decrease in sulfur dioxide, other molecules would be produced in very large quantities in return. So her work puts a strict limit on potential life, and based on measurement data, there can only be between 0.00001 and 0.001 milligrams of biomass per cubic meter of Venus’s atmosphere. As an explanation, Jordan also said, life would “destroy everything we know about the chemistry of Venus’s atmosphere.”
“We had hoped that life might be a possible explanation for the peculiarities of the atmosphere,” Jordan says. But there is simply no possible solution to this puzzle. There is still no explanation for the unusual properties there. In the meantime, their method could become important when the new James Webb Space Telescope begins analyzing planetary systems around other stars. This could detect if there is life on exoplanets: “This is just the beginning,” says co-author Paul Reimer. the work Published in Nature Communications.
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