Is There Life Drifting In The Clouds Of Venus?
In the hunt for extraterrestrial life, researchers have turned over all kinds of rocks. For instance, Mars has geological characteristics that recommend it once had subsurface liquid water, an almost certain requirement for life. Researchers have also aimed on Enceladus and Titan (Saturn’s moons) as well as Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto (Jupiter’s moons) as possible avenues for life under their icy crusts in the oceans.
In a paper posted in the journal Astrobiology, an international group of scientists spearheaded by Sanjay Limaye (planetary scientist) of the Space Science and Engineering Center by University of Wisconsin-Madison lays out a case for Venus’ atmosphere as a possible place for extraterrestrial microbial life.
On a related note, a research group from Japan has verified a huge streak structure amongst the clouds wrapping Venus on the basis of surveillance from the Akatsuki spacecraft. The group also disclosed the origins of this structure employing huge-scale climate activations. The group was spearheaded by Professor Hiroki Kashimura (Project Assistant at Kobe University, Graduate School of Science) and these results were posted in Nature Communications.
Venus is often dubbed as Earth’s twin due to their similar gravity and size, but the climate on Venus is extremely different. Venus revolves a lot more slowly (almost 243 Earth days makes one rotation on Venus) and in Earth’s opposite direction. In the meantime, almost 60 Km above surface of Venus, a speedy east wind covers the planet in almost 4 Earth Days. This is a phenomenon dubbed as atmospheric superrotation.
The sky of Venus is completely wrapped by chunky clouds of sulfuric acid that are situated at a height of 45–70 Km, making it difficult to monitor the planet’s surface from orbiters covering Venus and Earth-located telescopes. Temperatures at the surface reach a scorching 460 Degrees Celsius