Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor, suddenly looks more intriguing as a potential source of life. An international team of astronomers announced that it had remotely detected the presence of phosphine, a potential chemical “biosignature” in Venus’s atmosphere — very possibly generated by living organisms.
To confirm this the next obvious step is sending a new probe to take a closer look, something NASA and Russia will both be doing. The U.S. space agency was already considering going forward with two new Venus missions, either or both could potentially be modified to look for phosphine or attempt a more direct detection of alien lifeforms.
Russia, meanwhile, has a long history of sending spacecraft to Venus, and this past week, the head of Roscosmos, that country’s space agency, called Venus a “Russian planet.” We all know that no country can claim any planet or any other celestial body as all countries have already signed a treaty long ago agreeing to the same. However, leave it to Russia to shake up the Universe. While most space agencies have traditionally believed Mars to be the planet most likely to harbor life, Venus very well may be the first planet to confirm the existence of life on other planets, even if the life forms are microbial.
Long thought too hot and too hostile to support life, we now know from the habitats below our own oceans that life can survive in the most hostile of conditions, even in volcanoes and under miles of rock formations within the earth. Life could not be any more interesting with so many advances in technology and the ways in which we are learning about time and space. Hopefully, we will know soon enough!