A gas found on Earth that might indicate life has been detected in the clouds of Venus created a lot of buzz on the internet.
Scientists on Monday said they have detected in the harshly acidic clouds of Earth’s neighbour — a gas called phosphine that indicates microbes may inhabit what was thought to be an inhospitable planet.
The researchers did not discover actual life forms, but noted that on Earth phosphine is produced by bacteria thriving in oxygen-starved environments. The international scientific team first spotted the phosphine using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii and confirmed it using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope in Chile.
The new findings are cited as a tantalising sign of potential life beyond Earth, and sparked a lot of reactions on social media. Social media had plenty of jokes and memes with #Aliens and #LifeOnVenus dominating trends online.
“Microbes” on Venus? We’re not saying “I told you so,” but… pic.twitter.com/QGVjYWA6fn
— Ancient Aliens (@AncientAliens) September 14, 2020
— Dr James O⁷Donoghue (@physicsJ) September 14, 2020
— Ingenious Captain⚓🍁🚢🇺🇲🧭 (@CapitaineJan) September 14, 2020
— Justyna Hampel, Ph.D. (@MicroJustyna) September 14, 2020
The search for alien life has a STRONG new contender! pic.twitter.com/9hj8W6Rc7G
— Emily Hunt (@emilydoesastro) September 14, 2020
I’m sorry, aliens, we’re maxed out on major news for the year. Please try again in 2021.
— Lauren Katzenberg (@Lkatzenberg) September 14, 2020
Is gender bias the reason why we always thought there would be life on Mars but totally ignored Venus… Just wondering lol.
— Amaya Smith (@amayajsmith) September 14, 2020
— Andrew (@halo1nine) September 14, 2020
— Ash Loydon (@AshtonLamont) September 14, 2020
— Dispropaganda (@Dispropoganda) September 14, 2020
— Goddess Dawn on Youtube💫 (@GoddessDawn3) September 14, 2020
September 2020 with aliens pic.twitter.com/KXFe9woQVy
— trash can pens fan☀️ (@KatieMarr_) September 14, 2020
— Passionfruit Paws (@passionfruitpws) September 14, 2020
when we find life on venus and it looks like this pic.twitter.com/YwUmXhkcJh
— sean 🪐 (@swoletergeist) September 14, 2020
NASA: we found life on venus
the aliens: pic.twitter.com/cz2OOdGsP1
— Avery (@averybrockberg) September 14, 2020
2020: “Shall I throw aliens into the mix?”
Humanity: “To be fair, it’s not like we haven’t been expecting this.”
— Ben Oakley (@BenOakleyAuthor) September 14, 2020
Phosphine – a phosphorus atom with three hydrogen atoms attached – is highly toxic to people. Some scientists have suspected that the Venusian high clouds, with mild temperatures around 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), could harbour aerial microbes that could endure extreme acidity.
These clouds are around 90 per cent sulphuric acid. Microbes on Earth cannot survive that acidity.
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