Alien life might exist in the clouds above Venus, in the form of tiny bacteria.
According to a new study, bacteria could survive in the clouds 30 miles above Venus’ surface, thanks to differences in temperature and pressure, as well as the chemistry of the atmosphere. The air pressure in Venus’ atmosphere is almost equal to the pressure on Earth’s ground and the temperature clocks in at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which isn’t ideal but is survivable for bacteria. Venus’ atmosphere is also filled with sulfuric acid and carbon dioxide, but those conditions could actually help bacteria thrive.
Rakesh Mogul, who co-authored the study, stated, “On Earth, we know that life can thrive in very acidic conditions, can feed on carbon dioxide, and produce sulfuric acid.”
An even bigger indicator of possible alien life in Venus is amorphous dark patches in the atmosphere that change size and move around without entirely disappearing, leading researchers to believe they are likely bacteria. Although we aren’t close to an answer at the moment, a spacecraft is being developed to fly by Venus and sample biology from the planet’s atmosphere. This will let us know if there are really tiny particles of life floating around.