Goddard Space Flight Centre research scientist Dr. Michelle Thaller proposed a new theory about life on another solar system planet.
Perhaps the last place you’d look for extraterrestrial life amongst our planets is a sweltering 475°C (900°F) one covered in a thick corrosive atmosphere. However, the NASA researcher has suggested that extraterrestrials might hide out on Venus since the climate is so harsh.
A carbon-dioxide-filled environment, she claims, has already shown “potential indicators of life,” and she is “100% positive” that life exists someplace.
Dr. Thaller said in an interview, “We discover plausible evidence of life in the atmosphere of Venus. The atmosphere of Venus currently contains a substance that seems to have been created by microbes.”
Venus is sometimes called “Earth’s twin” because of the many similarities between the two planets. But their environments couldn’t be more different; scientists agree that human life cannot survive on Venus.
At 67 million miles from the Sun, Venus is the solar system’s hottest planet, with temperatures high enough to melt lead.
The sulfuric acid and carbon dioxide in its atmosphere contribute to the hostile environment by causing a “runaway greenhouse effect” that traps heat on the planet and prevents it from escaping into space. Despite this, the possibility that microorganisms can subsist on sulfur, methane, and iron exist in Venus’ clouds has been the subject of heated scientific discussion.
Venus gets enough solar light to pass through its heavy clouds, leading many to speculate that photosynthesis is conceivable on the planet’s surface.
In contrast, University College London astrobiologist Professor Dominic Papineau says it’s “impossible to hypothesize” Dr. Thaller’s ideas realistically.
“For life-related chemical processes to occur, liquid water is required, so we must hunt for sedimentary rocks formerly linked with liquid water to uncover alien fossils, and vice versa.”
However, Professor Papineau and Dr. Thaller concur that our solar system’s ice moons may likewise host microorganisms.
In addition to the 462 smaller asteroids and minor planets, NASA estimates that there are 290 “traditional Moons” in our solar system.
Professor Papineau said that Mars and the frigid moons of the outer solar system are “more plausible” places to uncover signs of alien life and fossils.
Because there is liquid water on those planets, even frozen at the south pole of Mars. The geological record of Mars and its ice moons may be suitable for fossil preservation.