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The Engineer
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Alien Life in the Clouds of Venus?

04/12/2018 11:23 AM

I came across this interesting article on Astronomy.com and thought I would pass it along. It's interesting thinking about all the different places life could exist. As inhospitable as Venus is, it turns out its clouds could have life.

Here is a link to the article

Could alien life be hiding in the clouds of Venus?

In a paper published March 30 in the journal Astrobiology, an international team of researchers suggests that the thick and acidic atmosphere of Venus may actually serve as a potential safe haven for microbial life. In the hypothesis paper, they not only present multiple lines of evidence showing the Venusian clouds could harbor extreme forms of life, but also show that airborne life on Venus would help explain the fluctuating appearance of the planet’s clouds — a mystery that has plagued astronomers for nearly a century.

Although scientists have debated the habitability of Venus’ atmosphere for many decades — Carl Sagan co-authored a paper on the topic in 1963 — our sister world is often still ignored as a target for astrobiological research. This is primarily because the surface of Venus is now almost undoubtedly inhospitable to life, sporting temperatures of over 860 degrees Fahrenheit (450 Celsius) and surface pressures about 90 times greater than those found on Earth. However, despite the fact that Venus is now a hellish landscape (largely due to a runaway greenhouse effect), at one point, the planet looked a lot more like Earth does today.

“Venus had plenty of time to evolve life on its own,” said lead author Sanjay Limaye, a planetary scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Space Science and Engineering Center, in a press release. In fact, previous research suggests that Venus could have once maintained a habitable climate with liquid water on its surface for as long as 2 billion years. “That’s much longer than is believed to have occurred on Mars,” he said. This would have allowed life to initially form on the surface of Venus (when the toxic planet looked more like present-day Earth) before eventually migrating up into the Venusian clouds.

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Guru
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#1

Re: Alien Life in the Clouds of Venus?

04/12/2018 1:30 PM
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Guru

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#2

Re: Alien Life in the Clouds of Venus?

04/12/2018 4:18 PM

Sipping too much Sci-Fi "kool-aid" lately?

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#3

Re: Alien Life in the Clouds of Venus?

04/12/2018 4:47 PM

Doesn't necessarily seem to be completely far-fetched. If Venus originally supported life, perhaps as it changed to its present form that life was forced into zones in the atmosphere where it was still habitable.

If you want to read a ripping sci-fi yarn that takes this idea quite a bit further, try Iain M Banks 'The Algebraist': https://www.iain-banks.net/uk/the-algebraist/

Banks imagined an advanced race of gas-giant 'dwellers' with a highly-developed technological civilisation and a secret technology that became the most sought-after thing in the galaxy.

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#4

Re: Alien Life in the Clouds of Venus?

04/12/2018 5:49 PM

Earth conditions are just right for Earth life. Either life is only here because the conditions are right, or maybe life here has adapted to the conditions here, and life elsewhere will someday be found to have adapted to conditions there.

An example is extremophile bacteria.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremophile

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Guru
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#5

Re: Alien Life in the Clouds of Venus?

04/12/2018 7:34 PM

I wonder if Venus will ever return to a habitable condition. Certainly it's possible for extremophiles as we have on earth to survive in the cloud conditions. This makes me think about how life changes the atmosphere of planets, and whether Venus could be seeded with the right microbes to make the place more hospitable... eventually.

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#6

Re: Alien Life in the Clouds of Venus?

04/12/2018 11:55 PM

As much as I would like alien life to exist, I believe there is nothing to this.

I once read a book about how life evolved on a neutron star. Wild!

I believe that there are two things that are necessary in order for life to exist and progress: 1) The raw materials, and 2) An Intelligence to tell them what to do.

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#10
In reply to #6

Re: Alien Life in the Clouds of Venus?

04/13/2018 6:30 PM

I once read a book about how life evolved on a neutron star. Wild!

Good book, I read it too. Love hard science SF, ala Robert Forward, Larry Niven, Arthur Clark, etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon%27s_Egg

I suspect there may be many forms of life, most of which we would not even recognize, that have adapted to live near some energy source.

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#11
In reply to #6

Re: Alien Life in the Clouds of Venus?

04/13/2018 8:41 PM

".... I believe that there are two things that are necessary in order for life to exist and progress: 1) The raw materials, and 2) An Intelligence to tell them what to do....."

Curious.

First: what is the 'progress' of life you reference?

Second: you seem to be suggesting intelligence can and ultimately must have preceeded life. Have you observed dynamic intelligence which was not at least initiated by life?

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#7

Re: Alien Life in the Clouds of Venus?

04/12/2018 11:57 PM

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#8

Re: Alien Life in the Clouds of Venus?

04/13/2018 3:51 AM

Were this to become verified then logically the implication is that life would be actually rather more abundant in the universe than currently believed.

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Guru
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#9

Re: Alien Life in the Clouds of Venus?

04/13/2018 7:22 AM

It would be good to drop the word <...Alien...>. Belonging. Togetherness. Respect...

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