Astronomers may have found hints of life in clouds of Venus

Astronomers have detected a chemical signature in the atmosphere of Venus that may be associated with life.

While the signature isn’t robust enough to definitively declare that there’s life on our nearest planetary neighbour, in a new paper published today in the journal Nature Astronomy, the international team says they have ruled out any other known sources that could have produced the chemical compound, phosphine.

“The reason we’re so excited about this finding in this paper is that we found phosphine gas, which doesn’t belong in the Venus atmosphere,” said Canadian co-author Sara Seager, professor of planetary science and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Venus Phosphine
This artistic impression depicts Venus, where scientists have confirmed the detection of phosphine molecules, shown in the inset. Astronomers have speculated for decades that life could exist in Venus’s high clouds. The detection of phosphine could point to such extra-terrestrial ‘aerial’ life. (ESO M. Kornmesser/L. Calçada/NASA/JPL/Caltech)

Read more at the CBC

OK. So what do you think the little green men are going to look like?  🙂

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