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Life on Venus?

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Life on Venus?

Old 17th Sep 2020, 03:10
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Can ‘WE’ be absolutely 100% certain that it’s not in someway connected to contamination from the various probes we have launched to Venus over the decades.
At the moment there is no certainty about anything. The proposition that it is indicative of life is just that, a proposition. The very presence of phosphine on Venus is yet to be confirmed, as the finding is based on a single spectral frequency. As the attached says,
Even if confirmed (the presence of phosphine), we emphasize that the detection of PH3 is not robust evidence for life, only for anomalous and unexplained chemistry. There are substantial conceptual problems for the idea of life in Venus’s clouds—the environment is extremely dehydrating as well as hyperacidic. However, we have ruled out many chemical routes to PH3, with the most likely ones falling short by four to eight orders of magnitude To further discriminate between unknown photochemical and/or geological processes as the source of Venusian PH3, or to determine whether there is life in the clouds of Venus, substantial modelling and experimentation will be important. Ultimately, a solution could come from revisiting Venus for in situ measurements or aerosol return.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-020-1174-4.pdf
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 07:08
  #42 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by The AvgasDinosaur View Post
Can WE be absolutely 100% certain that its not in someway connected to contamination from the various probes we have launched to Venus over the decades.
An excellent question. While not a guaranteed "no", baking organisms from planet Earth at 400 degrees in an acidic gas will be even more effective than domestic bleach. If the answer is yes then how did extremophile organisms found in the most remote corners of the Earth get into the lab where the probes were built ?

If the outcome is that there are superbugs on Venus then I reckon they have been around for a very long time.

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Old 17th Sep 2020, 07:32
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Mr Optimistic View Post
Do any of us care?
Why bother even posting that? Is your user ID ironic?
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 07:35
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by The AvgasDinosaur View Post
Can ‘WE’ be absolutely 100% certain that it’s not in someway connected to contamination from the various probes we have launched to Venus over the decades.
I believe the longest lasting probe post landing is about 2 minutes?
Fascinating news all the same.
Live long and prosper
David
Whilst contamination is almost certain given the laissez faire nature of early missions to the planet, the chances of us detecting it from here on Earth must be fleetingly remote.

It highly likely its something the planet has generated.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 08:15
  #45 (permalink)  
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Refer back to my previous post about contamination. I see no plausible way that contamination from spacecraft sent to Venus could cause phosphine in Venus clouds. On the other hand, I'm glad the subject has been brought up because for future missions to Mars and Venus that look for life definitely need to consider contamination. If you're going to start drilling into rocks or sampling a small part of the atmosphere, then you have to be very sure that any signs of life weren't brought there by the probe. In this case, the abundance of phosphine and wide-spread location in upper-level clouds almost certainly rules out contamination from spacecraft.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 13:54
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by The AvgasDinosaur View Post
Can ‘WE’ be absolutely 100% certain that it’s not in someway connected to contamination from the various probes we have launched to Venus over the decades.
I believe the longest lasting probe post landing is about 2 minutes?
Fascinating news all the same.
Live long and prosper
David


Obviously we can't answer that at this stage, although for 2 different sets of reasons I think it's very unlikely. However, if life forms were ever isolated and studied, then we would be able to tell if they recently derived from earth bugs or not, with a very high degree of confidence.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 15:24
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by The AvgasDinosaur View Post
Can WE be absolutely 100% certain that its not in someway connected to contamination from the various probes we have launched to Venus over the decades.
I believe the longest lasting probe post landing is about 2 minutes?
Fascinating news all the same.
Live long and prosper
David
I was a long long way from accurate!!
In December 1978, Venera 11 and Venera 12 landed on Venus and sent back more data on the atmosphere of Venus. Venera 12 sent back data for 110 minutes (the longest of any Veneralander) before the effects of heat and pressure ended its mission.
Sorry folks.
David
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 19:49
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hokulea View Post
I get the impression you don't care for the scientific method and simply don't care. That's fine. I don't understand your comment that we'll never get unequivocal evidence of it unless you believe there is no life on Earth which is a bit of a strange opinion. What I don't understand is your involvement in the thread. If you don't care about discovering a biomarker on Venus, why even post on this thread? It's obvious you don't care about the significance of looking for life elsewhere in the universe and that's OK, but why tell everyone else about it? Instead, how about explaining why it's a waste of everyone's time?

PS. Time and distance for detecting phosphine on Venus? I'd love to read your explanation for this because I haven't a clue what you are on about.
Not sure about your time and distance comment, my point was about the distribution of life events over the expanse of the universe in terms of time and spatial dimensions. Heard the one about the photon, moving at the speed of light, but time dilation meant the clock hasn't ticked since the big bang, but length contraction held the universe as a point in space. So no time to go nowhere and still sitting at the moment of creation.
If you post to advertise something you are interested in and that you hold significant, Is it not permitted for others who don't share the excitement to ask why? It's all a claim on tax payers money and I am a tax payer . Now about a manned mission to Mars......
After all the missions to Mars, how much further have we got to a definitive answer to......anything?
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 07:45
  #49 (permalink)  
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"After all the missions to Mars, how much further have we got to a definitive answer to......anything?"

I think the answer to your post is that is we, as a species, have come to understand our universe much better in the last few decades, but you haven't. That's fine, it's your choice to ignore one of the most basic instincts of the human race which is to explore and understand the universe we live in, and finding a biomarker on another planet is a major step in this process. I'm afraid the rest of your post makes little sense which is why I question your interest in the thread because you don't understand the significance of this discovery or the science behind it. In the meantime:


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Old 18th Sep 2020, 09:49
  #50 (permalink)  
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The question of contamination should be easy to answer. With no predators and the predictable rate of multiplication of extremophile bacteria, it should be possible to calculate the approximate biomass that would exist today. We could then also calculate the probable volume of phosphine production against the rate of destruction through UV etc. Even if we can't calculate that number, the short time from the arrival of the Venera suggests that we should see an annual increase. In other words, the little earthings producing noxious farts will be reproducing at an exponential rate. If however the levels are at a steady state then for me, that suggests that a biological process must have existed for a considerable time.
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 09:58
  #51 (permalink)  
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My conclusion is that David Bowie would not have had such a big hit with "Life On Venus", simply doesn't have the same ring to it...
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 10:10
  #52 (permalink)  
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You're absolutely right, B Fraser, the possibility of contamination needs to be ruled out, but I will bet a lot of money that there's no way any missions to Venus could have caused such contamination that phosphine is detectable in the clouds of Venus. If phosphine is being created by life, it's hard to imagine how it could have evolved so quickly from an earth-based environment to surviving in sulphuric clouds. You are right to say it can't be ruled out and clearly there' a possibility the current detection is wrong and something else explains it (this has happened before). If the results are confirmed, however, then we need to either look at the possibility of life elsewhere and in an environment we didn't expect it to exist or our understanding of astrochemistry is wrong. Both possibilities are a huge jump forward in our understanding of the Solar System and ultimately life in the universe.
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 10:15
  #53 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
My conclusion is that David Bowie would not have had such a big hit with "Life On Venus", simply doesn't have the same ring to it...
Just for you, treadigraph!

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Old 18th Sep 2020, 10:35
  #54 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Hokulea View Post
If the results are confirmed.
As I understand it, the results were matched between two studies carried out by independent telescopes. The signature is definitely there and is weak at the poles. This suggests that the mechanism is dependent on sunlight.

Exciting times.
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 10:50
  #55 (permalink)  
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What's needed is confirmation that it is phosphine at other wavelengths, mainly the infrared. That search has already started. You are correct in saying the signature of phosphine has been detected by two independent sites but phosphine also has modes that mean it should be detectable in the infrared. The problem is that the IR signatures of phosphine are much weaker in the IR and tend to occur in a spectral region that's tough to observe from a ground-based telescope. I'm optimistic we will get confirmation one way or the other very soon, but there's a possibility it may have to wait until the JWST is launched.
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Old 19th Sep 2020, 01:23
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hokulea View Post
"After all the missions to Mars, how much further have we got to a definitive answer to......anything?"

I think the answer to your post is that is we, as a species, have come to understand our universe much better in the last few decades, but you haven't. That's fine, it's your choice to ignore one of the most basic instincts of the human race which is to explore and understand the universe we live in, and finding a biomarker on another planet is a major step in this process. I'm afraid the rest of your post makes little sense which is why I question your interest in the thread because you don't understand the significance of this discovery or the science behind it. In the meantime:

https://youtu.be/o8GA2w-qrcg

https://youtu.be/uA5XuOIilYc
No, that's not it at all. It's about curiosity and research grants and about questions that can't be answered. There was once water and life on Mars. Venus I have doubts about. But so what. The universe has had and will have so much life.
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Old 19th Sep 2020, 12:54
  #57 (permalink)  
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There is water on Mars and it appears to flow seasonally. If there are bugs in the Venusian atmosphere (and it is a big if at present) then the case for bugs in the limited amount of liquid water on Mars is all the stronger. At the moment, there is no proof that life once existed on Mars other than it is a compelling proposition.

If we can ever say with 100% certainty that life exists on 3 planets and that it emerged independently then the case for life throughout the universe is proven. My personal view is that it is highly likely but I'm an eternal optimist.
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Old 19th Sep 2020, 14:37
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Begs the question, are there penguins on Venus?
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Old 19th Sep 2020, 14:51
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Is this a case of life imitating art? Not quite a space probe, but a similar theory that introducing a foreign object might rearrange particles at sub atomic level to create life (I got that from Star Trek so it must be true)

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Old 19th Sep 2020, 23:13
  #60 (permalink)  
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IIRC, the speed with which her device worked makes one reach for the old credulity protest button.
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