Venus is one of the most inhospitable planets in our solar system, but it could still hold life – of a kind.
Venus’ acid clouds could host simple microbial life, according to research detailed in the journal Astrobiology.
Scientists studied unidentified particulars that make up dark patches in the clouds of Venus. By using Ultraviolet, they found they are made up of sulphuric acid and light-absorbing particles. They’ve also been detected by space probes.
Professor Rakesh Mogul, who co-authored the paper and is a biological chemist at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona explained that bacteria could be responsible for the sulphuric acid present:
In Earth, we know that life can thrive in very acidic conditions, can feed on carbon dioxide, and produce sulfuric acid.
Lead author Sanjay Limaye, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Space Science and Engineering Centre added:
Venus has had plenty of time to evolve life on its own. That's much longer than is believed to have occurred on Mars.
Some models, he says, suggest Venus had a habitable climate for as long approximately 2 billion years.
Although Venus is similar in size and structure to Earth, it’s got a thick, toxic atmosphere; with temperatures hot enough to melt led. Glimpses beyond its clouds show a world filled volcanoes and deformed mountains.