Tag: Venus

Search for Aliens Should Begin on Venus

Article by Joel Day                                    November 14, 2020                                  (express.co.uk)

• The search for microbial life has largely been focused Mars and Jupiter’s moons, for example, Europa, which is thought to have stores of frozen lakes and freshwater. Venus had rarely crossed the minds of scientists. Then a few months ago, Researchers at Cardiff University announced that they’d found traces of phosphine – a key biological signature of life – in Venus’ atmosphere.

• The discovery was a paradox. Venus’ surface is extremely inhospitable: hot enough to melt lead. Sulphuric acid makes up most of the planet’s atmosphere. W such high temperatures and lack of oxygen, the phosphine gas should technically disappear within minutes of popping into existence.

• It is widely accepted that billions of years ago Venus, Earth and Mars had similar genetic makeup, formed from the same rocks and metals. However, it is presumed that ‘climate catastrophes’ devastated Venus and Mars. Today, Venus appears to be the antithesis to everything that sustains life. The atmospheric ground pressure in Venus is as if you were beneath 900m of water on Earth. The atmosphere acts more like a fluid than a gas. It is so dense that winds can move small rocks with ease.

• “Venus is an extremely cloudy world: only 20 percent of incident sunlight percolates down to the surface,” notes British astronomer Dr. Mark A. Garlick. The presence of dark patches or bands, so-called ‘unknown absorbers’, discovered more than a century ago, block most ultraviolet light and a portion of visible light, rendering these regions comparatively dark.

• Despite its soaring temperatures, Venus is only a heat trap on its surface. At an altitude of 50km, the atmospheric pressure drops to a temperature comparable to a temperate day on Earth. This is Venus’ habitable zone.

• Dr. Garlick is calling for endeavors into the search for alien life to change tack and focus on Venus, as it “is the easiest to reach”. “At an altitude of 50km, floating habitats would be the ideal launch pad from which to search for signs of life in the clouds,” said Dr. Garlick. “Perhaps our search for extraterrestrial cousins among the planets should begin there.”

• Bacteria swept up in water particles into the Earth’s atmosphere can survive at altitudes as high as 4km. Thus, the proposition that bacteria could survive the higher reaches of Venus’ atmosphere isn’t as ludicrous as it might first seem. The phosphine on Venus could be produced by a process that humans have not yet discovered. This gap in knowledge is the most “exciting” element of the discovery, says Dr. Garlick. “Phosphine, and the unknown substances absorbing ultraviolet light, taken together make a good case for studying (Venus) more closely.”

• Life in these conditions would be “undoubtedly very hardy”, says Dr. Garlick. “But, vitally, not impossible.”

 

Venus’ surface is extremely inhospitable: hot enough to melt lead, sulphuric acid lingers and makes up the best part of the planet’s atmosphere. Yet, only a few months ago, scientists for the first time found evidence for life on Earth’s scorching neighbour. Researchers at Cardiff University shocked the astronomical community after they identified traces of phosphine – a key biological signature of life – in Venus’ atmosphere.

       Dr. Mark A. Garlick

The discovery was nothing short of a paradox: with soaring temperatures and lack of oxygen the gas should technically disappear within minutes if it ever pops into existence.

Thus, the search for life on Venus had rarely crossed the minds of scientists.

Efforts had largely been focused on Mars and Jupiter’s moons, for example, Europa, which is thought to have stores of frozen lakes and freshwater.

Now, researchers are calling for endeavours into alien life to change tack, and begin closer to home.

Dr Mark A Garlick noted that there are several other places in the Solar System touted as potential abodes of life, but are as of yet undiscovered.

He reasoned: “But among these worlds, it’s Venus that is the easiest to reach.

“At an altitude of 50km, floating habitats would be the ideal launch pad from which to search for signs of life in the clouds.

“Perhaps our search for extraterrestrial cousins among the planets should begin there.”

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Are Drones the Worst Thing to Happen to UFOs Since Orson Welles?

Article by David MacQuarrie                                   November 10, 2020                                     (dronedj.com)

• In 1938, actor/ director Orson Welles frightened listeners with his Halloween prank radio broadcast of a Martian invasion in War of the Worlds. For years after that, the skies remained more or less clear of extraterrestrial menace. Then in 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold says he spotted flying objects skipping like saucers over the Cascade Mountain Range near Seattle. This time there was no Orson Welles to blame it on. UFOs became part of the cultural landscape. When we see lights in the sky, they’re usually blamed on the planet Venus, aircraft, oddball reflections or swamp gas (uh, swamp gas?) Still, there is a minority of reports that defy easy explanation.

• Drones have become the go-to explanation for any mysterious lights in the sky. This month, people were startled to see mysterious lights in the skies over Milwaukee, Wisconsin. But they turned out to be drones practicing for a Christmas Pageant light show over a festival park. People in New Jersey reporting a UFO were told it was a police drone. Factories in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, China have filled the skies with hundreds of thousands drones.

• “A significant amount of UFOs that we investigate are hobby drones,” said Ken Jordan, Texas’ chief of investigations for the international Mutual UFO Network. A high-flying aircraft moving at impossible speeds can be mistaken for a low-flying drone puttering along at 20 k/h. Acrobatics that seem to defy the laws of physics are now on routine display at drone airshows, no extraterrestrial technology needed.

• Even when the New York Times published US Navy videos of strange objects flying off the East Coast of the US, the Navy pilots assumed they were drones. They didn’t especially look like drones, but really what else could they be? Perhaps the mothership is parked ominously just behind the Moon and is sending its vile horde of drone-shaped legions toward our unsuspecting planet. Perhaps we should be vigilant like the character Ned Scott in The Thing from Another World: “Keep watching the skies”. But if you do see something up there, it’s probably just a drone.

 

This month, mysterious lights startled some people looking to the skies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Readers of this

               TX MUFON’s Ken Jordan

website will already know there is no mystery; the UFO lights at Maier Festival Park were just drones practicing for a Christmas Pageant light show.

But there’s a long history of alarming lights in the sky and earthlings assuming it just can’t be good.

Actor/ Director Orson Welles frightened many listeners in 1938 with his Halloween prank radio broadcast of War of the Worlds. It’s controversial just how many people actually feared Martian invasion. But a lot of listeners felt silly once the hoax was revealed, and CBS fought at least one lawsuit. For years after that, the skies remained more or less clear of extraterrestrial menace.

Until 1947. That’s when pilot Kenneth Arnold says he spotted flying objects skipping like saucers over the Cascade Range near Seattle. This time there was no Orson Welles to ‘fess up. UFOs were with us and became part of the cultural landscape.

Most turn out to be sightings of the planet Venus, aircraft, oddball reflections or swamp gas. (Really? Who’s fooled by swamp gas?)
Still, there was always a tiny minority of reports that defied easy explanation.

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Venus Is a ‘Russian Planet,’ Says Roscosmos Chief

September 15, 2020                               (themoscowtimes.com)

• Following new research published in the journal Nature Astronomy of British and American scientists’ discovery of phosphine gas in Venus’ clouds, suggesting the possibility that there might be extraterrestrial life in Venusian clouds (see yesterday’s ExoArticle here) the chief of the Russian space agency ‘Roscosmos’, Dmitry Rogozin, contended that prior research by Russian scientists has indicated that Venus is inhospitable to life.

• “Our country was the first and only one to successfully land on Venus,” Rogozin told the audience at the 2020 HeliRussia exhibition. “The [Russian] spacecraft gathered information about the planet. [I]t is like hell over there.” He assured the audience that, as such, Venus is a “Russian planet”.

• While the Russian space agency still plans to carry out the Venera-D mission in cooperation with the United States this coming decade, Roscosmos announced plans to launch an independent Russian expedition to Venus as well, without international cooperation.

• ‘Breakthrough Initiatives’, a program funded by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner in association with SETI, announced that it will fund a study into the possibility of life in Venus’ clouds, led by Sara Seager from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

Venus is a “Russian planet,” the head of Russia’s state space agency said Tuesday following new research that suggests there could be life on the

                      Dmitry Rogozin

second planet from the sun.

The research, published in the journal Nature Astronomy on Monday, details British and American scientists’ discovery of phosphine gas in Venus’ clouds and puts forward possible theories for its origin, including that of extraterrestrial life.

Speaking at the 2020 HeliRussia exhibition, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said prior research by Russian scientists indicated that the planet is inhospitable to life.

“Our country was the first and only one to successfully land on Venus,” Rogozin said. “The [Russian] spacecraft gathered information about the planet — it is like hell over there.”

Roscosmos also announced plans Tuesday to launch an independent Russian expedition to Venus “without involving wide international cooperation.” The expedition will take place in addition to the previously planned Venera-D mission, which is being carried out in cooperation with the United States.

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