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Thread: New paper on possibility of photosynthesis in Venus clouds

  1. #1
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    New paper on possibility of photosynthesis in Venus clouds

    A new paper by Rakesh Mogul and others, published by the journal Astrobiology, argues that the clouds of Venus may provide an environment where Earth-like microbes can use light as an energy source.

    The authors look at

    * How much visible light is available at various levels in the clouds?
    * How much protection from UV radiation does the atmosphere provide?
    * Whether sulfuric acid concentrations rule out life as we know it?

    They note that past research indicates presence in the clouds of ammonia/ammonium (NH3/ NH4+) as well as copper and iron. These substances tend to reduce acidity — they react with sulfuric acid to form less acidic compounds, namely sulfates and bisulfates. And suflates and bisulfates have spectra similar to sulfuric acid itself — if sulfates and/or bisulfates are present, sulfuric acid levels may have been significantly over-estimated.

    In short, the ammonia, copper and iron may make Venus clouds more compatible with LAWKI that they appear at first glance...

    Report on the new paper in Science Alert.
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 2021-Oct-08 at 02:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    As Wikipedia says "Earth is the only place in the Universe known to harbor life." (emphasis added)

    The current discussion about possible life at Venus demonstrates how much we don't know about other places even in our own little solar system, and expresses scientists' determination to find out a bit more.

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