MOSCOW – A group of Novosibirsk scientists analyzed images from the surface of Venus and found what may be evidence of the presence of living beings on the hot planet.
By studying panoramic images of the surface of Venus, recorded between 1975 and 1982 with the Soviet probes Venera-9, Venera-10, Venera-13 and Venera-14, researchers have identified what appear to be objects in slow motion and with a stable structure.
The contours of these objects resemble those of earthly creatures, such as those of a lizard, a scorpion and a mushroom. The supposed life forms changed their location in the different images, had remarkable sizes and differed from the surrounding geological formations.
The hypothesis of Russian scientists is based on the fact that the conditions necessary for the emergence and maintenance of extraterrestrial life forms may differ from those of our planet.
“The discovery of extraterrestrial life would affect all human knowledge, something comparable to the expansion of humanity beyond Earth and the beginning of the space age,” said Valeri Snitnikov, one of the authors of the study.
Russia plans to send a scientific mission to Venus after 2025. But what threats does the second planet of the solar system hide?
Although both Venus and Earth were formed from the same material, they developed under different conditions, as if they were separate twins at birth. While our planet became a flourishing ‘paradise’, Venus is nothing more than a desert without a drop of water.
According to Prof. Mikhail Ivanov, head of the Comparative Planetology Laboratory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Venusian sulfuric acid has a deuterium and hydrogen ratio 150 higher than that of Earth, something that can be used to test and theorize that several million years ago the ‘Morning Star’ supposedly had large amounts of water. Remember that the key component of the water molecule, hydrogen, volatilizes faster than the heavy isotopes: deuterium and tritium.
The first attempts by the USSR to conduct an expedition to Venus in the 1960s proved that conditions on the second planet are extremely difficult. For example, due to the greenhouse effect, temperatures on Venus reach 500 degrees, while Venusian atmospheric pressure can be compared to that of the ocean floor.
In 1985, the Soviet probe Vega reached the surface of Venus. However, from that moment, the planet was only examined from orbit.
Unlike Earth, which has several continents and oceans, Venus has a relatively homogeneous surface, supposedly formed by a volcanic eruption.
As explained by Ivanov, the oldest areas of the planet are called téseras and “are of particular interest” to researchers.
“For example, Ovda has a size comparable to Australia,” said the scientist.
The Russian researcher stressed that the lava flows that gave rise to the Venusian plains had formed in the cracks located on the surface of the planet, so that in this case, it is not about the “traditional” volcanoes.
“There is volcanism of this type in some places on Earth, such as Iceland or under water in the mid-oceanic ridges,” explained the scientist.
According to the expert, the plains are the safest place to settle on Venus.
Ivanov said that the surface of the drums “is very dangerous, since it consists of squares with vertical cornices, as well as concentrations of stones, landing in a tease would be a catastrophe almost certainly.”
It would be more logical to make a landing in one of the craters of Venus, although this could “lower the degree of scientific importance” of the expedition.
The volcanic plains of Venus are in a good state of conservation thanks to the fact that, unlike the Earth, they are not exposed to water, winds or temperature fluctuations.
“However, we still do not know exactly, since we have almost no data on the geochemistry of the surface of Venus,” said Ivanov, who stressed that the data obtained by Soviet expeditions “are not accurate” and may contain serious errors.
The specialist explained that the future landing will depend on whether the researchers plan to study the mantle or crust of Venus, in addition to the orbit and the date of the new mission.