Carl Sagan was right: there may be life on Venus!

  • AUTHOR: dua
  • POSTED ON: September 15, 2020

‘round nerds, as we have a reason to rejoice!

a study revealed that the clouds covering Venus contain Phosphine – a chemical
byproduct of biological life. If only Carl Sagan was alive to witness this
groundbreaking moment… since he was the first person to ever suggested that
there’s life on Venus, over 50 years ago!

your memory is hazy, let us remind you who the great Carl Sagan was. For
starters, he was the presenter of the most-viewed-ever PBS series, Cosmos. He was
also an author of a book titled Contact. He decided to become an astronomer
after getting inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs’ space fantasies, based on Mars
and Venus. Well, imagine how many people got inspired by Sagan and joined
astronomical ventures – the circle of life!

wasn’t just a science geek who studied the cosmic energies for kicks. He was,
in fact, one of the first few who actually unveiled a proof of life on Mars. He
also made revelations about the surface of Venus being crystal hot – way before
NASA’s probe in 1962!

– wait for it – he was the first scientist to witness Venus’ hellscape due to a
runaway greenhouse effect. You can say that he knew how badly Earth’s climate
was going to get affected in the future. In addition, he had proposed that
Earth’s sister planet gives an indication of microbial life.

his 1967 paper, he wrote:
small amounts of minerals are stirred up to the clouds from the surface, it is
by no means difficult to imagine an indigenous biology in the clouds of Venus. While
the surface conditions of Venus make the hypothesis of life there implausible,
the clouds of Venus are a different story altogether.”

made this prediction two years before the moon landing!

predicted that there’s a high carbon-dioxide atmosphere on Venus and it’s
nothing to be worried about. He even claimed that at the top of the Venus
Clouds, the conditions are almost similar to Earth – meaning hospitable!

then hypothesized that living organisms like bacteria can easily survive in the
upper regions of Venus. In addition, he said that when you add sunlight and
water vapor to CO2, you’ll give shape to the building block of life –

Dyar is the chairman of NASA’s Venus Exploration Advisory Group. He says:
“Sagan’s work on Venus was
formative, though few today remember his impact. His idea was prescient, and
still makes sense today: between the hellish surface conditions on present-day
Venus and the near-vacuum of outer space must be a temperate region where life
could live on.”

11 years after this
miraculous discovery, Sagan also found out about the presence of methane in the
Venus atmosphere. This was a giant discovery, as it highlighted the possibility
of organic material. However, at the time, scientists remained mum about the
discovery as there was no practical way for them to prove that methane meant

Sagan died in 1996, his idea remained alive! By 2013, a significant amount of
microbes were discovered on the sister planet. And these living microbes
existed in more than 300 forms – apparently, they’re less dense at the lower

2016, NASA had discovered that Venus used to have oceans at one point of time –
for 2 billion years, to be exact. Due to this, another theory was brought to
life by David Grinspoon – he suggested the microbial life migrated to the
clouds after the conditions at the surface got worse. 

from this, we’ve also made several other feats in Venus exploration. For
instance, we found evidence that there are active volcanoes existent on Venus,
and that they have the ability to stir up minerals into the atmosphere. We also
discovered that Venus has mysterious, dark patches all over its body and that
too, in large numbers.

Many people believe
that Venus, despite being closer to Earth, has been shunned by NASA. They’ve
used terms like Space colonization and urged scientists to look for life on
Venus as well as on Mars!

Interestingly, phosphine
is also found in vast amounts on Jupiter and Saturn. Nobody has yet been able
to identify the actual reason.

exciting discovery of phosphine in the Venus atmosphere just reinforces the
growing body of evidence that Venus is a likely, perhaps the most likely, other
place in our solar system where life might now or in the past have existed. Venus
holds the keys to our understanding of the evolution of rocky planets as homes
for life. This finding may be the first of many to come as NASA and other
countries renew a Venus exploration program.”

– says Dyar from NASA.

So far, we know that
ESA, the Russian Space Agency is working along with NASA to explore Venus

Updated September 15, 2020
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