(ORDO NEWS) — A team of scientists suggested and proved in the laboratory that microorganisms can live in the cloudy layer of Venus.
The researchers plan to study the survival of some bacteria from Earth under conditions similar to Venus, TASS was told in the press service of the Ural Federal University.
“Scientists have put forward a theory of the existence of microorganisms on Venus. According to the hypothesis, microorganisms can be found in the cloud layer of Venus in a special eco-niche, which is a water-foam structure.
The temperature suitable for some terrestrial-type microorganisms helps to exist and develop microorganisms. The possibility of the existence of such water- researchers have proven foam structures in the laboratory,” the university said.
Today, the conditions on the surface of Venus are unsuitable for terrestrial life forms, for example, the temperature there reaches plus 470 degrees.
However, it is believed that millions of years ago, Venus could have been habitable: as it warmed up and reached a critical temperature on the surface of the planet, the entire volume of water evaporated, forming clouds 20-25 km thick.
Together with water masses, extremophilic microorganisms that can survive at temperatures above 100 degrees could move into the clouds.
Evaporation of water from the surface of the planet should have been accompanied by the formation of abundant clouds at a height where water vapor could cool and condense, the scientists suggested. Most likely, the acidity level of the formed clouds was initially close to neutral, so various microorganisms could flourish in them.
Then, when the atmosphere of Venus lost the main amount of water, with simultaneous acidification of the environment due to the formation of sulfuric acid molecules (with a constant supply of sulfur dioxide of volcanic origin into the atmosphere), the selection of organisms was directed towards resistance to a strongly acidic environment.
To survive in adverse conditions, microorganisms in the clouds of Venus have occupied a specific niche in the liquid phase, where the dissolved nutrients needed by cells are most efficiently transported,
The scientists plan to study the survival of extremophile bacteria living in extreme terrestrial conditions, in conditions similar to those of Venus, as well as to study specific biomarker molecules that may be found when studying the cloud layer in future space missions to Venus.
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