Scientists just discovered the possibility of life in Venus' clouds

A study published on Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy found that Venus' clouds contain phosphine which may be evidence of alien life.

Phosphone is an extremely flammable, corrosive gas also found on Earth that's produced by anaerobic bacteria and humans in labs.

The study's authors haven't verified the origins of the gas but the sources they've investigated haven't been able to explain the amount of gas they discovered.

"We really went through all possible pathways that could produce phosphine on a rocky planet," Janusz Petkowski, an author of the new study, told MIT News. "If this is not life, then our understanding of rocky planets is severely lacking."



Should the study reveal life it would be one of the most important discoveries in human history. It would also validate a hypothesis posited decades ago by astrophysicist and the original host of TV's, "Cosmos," Carl Sagan.

In the '60s he authored two scientific papers outlining the possibility of life on Venus. He wrote that the planet's surface was too hot to support life but, "while the surface conditions of Venus make the hypothesis of life there implausible, the clouds of Venus are a different story altogether."

In 1967, Sagan and Harold Morowitz, a molecular biophysicist at Yale, posited that there could be a livable layer in Venus' clouds.

Here's Sagan describing the possibility of life in Venus' cloud layer back in 1963.

Life on Venus by Carl Sagan (1963) www.youtube.com

"Measurements with radio telescopes show, that there is a region on Venus where temperatures are greater than 600 degrees Fahrenheit," Sagan says. "It is just possible, that the hot region exists at a high altitude, in the ionosphere of Venus."

"The surface temperature could then be, almost Earth-like and life as we know it could exist there," Sagan continues. "However, it is more likely that if there is life on Venus it is probably the type we cannot now imagine."

Upworthy readers may be familiar with another prediction Sagan made right before his death in 1996. On "Charlie Rose" he said that due to a lack of scientific skepticism America runs the risk of being taken over by a "charlatan" political leader

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

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'Merry Christmas' on YouTube.

The world must have been—mostly—good this year. Because Elton John and Ed Sheeran have teamed up to gift us all with a brand new Christmas single.

The song, aptly named “Merry Christmas,” is a perfect blend of silly and sweet that’s cheery, bright and just a touch bizarre.

Created with the holiday spirit in every way, it has whimsical snowball fights, snow angels (basically all the snow things), festive sweaters, iconic throwbacks and twinkling lights galore. Plus all profits from the tune are dedicated to two charities: the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

I personally don’t know which is more of a highlight: Ed Sheeran channeling his inner-Mariah, performing a faux sexy dance in a leg revealing Santa outfit, or him flying through the air with a giant Frosty the Snowman … who seems to be sporting glasses similar to Elton’s. Are we meant to believe that Elton is the Snowman? This music video even has mystery.
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