Aliens could be living in the clouds of Venus, a NASA-backed study says. Researchers claim simple microbial life forms might exist in the upper atmosphere of the world dubbed Earth’s evil twin. The findings were recently published in Astrobiology.
Mysterious dark patches have been detected by space probes in its clouds. They appear to resemble the light-absorbing properties of bacteria on Earth, scientists say.
Venus is a rocky world similar in size to ours, but incredibly inhospitable at the surface. The temperature is twice the maximum setting in a kitchen oven and it rains sulphuric acid. And if any astronaut avoided getting roasted or poisoned, he or she would be crushed by the pressure of the dense atmosphere.
Research by an international team of scientists indicates extraterrestrial microbes may survive by being blown about by winds in the cooler cloud tops. Study co-author David J Smith, of NASA’s Ames Research Center, says similar bacteria and other organisms on Earth have been found alive at altitudes of 25 miles.
Rakesh Mogul, of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, adds, “On Earth, we know life can thrive in very acidic conditions.”
The U.S. is preparing a delta-winged aircraft to be dropped into the Venus clouds for a year’s data analysis.