Did We Just Discover Life On Venus?


Astronomers say they may have discovered life on Venus. Using high-powered telescopes in Hawaii and Chile, scientists have spotted the chemical signature of phosphine, a noxious gas that supports life on Earth, a study published in Monday's edition of "Nature Astronomy" reveals.

According to the authors, phosphine is formed as a function of animals and microbes -- although there's some debate over whether it's a waste product. Regardless, its presence in Venus' clouds means there's a chance living microbes are present in the planet's atmosphere, the study concludes.

Despite the findings, even the study's authors concede the chance of life existing on Venus -- where surface temperatures reach 800 degrees -- is slim at best. "Venus is hell," says co-author David Clements. "Venus is kind of Earth's evil twin. Clearly something has gone wrong, very wrong, with Venus. It's the victim of a runaway greenhouse effect." Does the fact that life as we know it couldn't survive in such extreme heat mean a different kind of life couldn't? Do you think there's life on another planet?

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