The search for signs of life on other planet has resulted in diverse outcomes. Different astronomers recorded different results of the search.
A group of astronomers recorded discovering at least 45 planets orbiting distant stars that have Earth-like characteristics including the same atmosphere and water on Venus; a different team discovered no technological signs of alien life in study of more than 10 million star systems. And another research affirmed difficulty in finding evidence of life on Mars.
The researchers at Cornell University and at Spain’s Centro de Astrobiología, revealed that scientists are interested in studying Mars’ (the red planet’s) soils for signs of life, but there are a few obstacles: It is possible that the Acidic fluids which used to flow on the Martian surface have destroyed any biological evidence that could be found on Mars’ soil.
The researchers performed simulations that included clay and amino acids to make verdicts on the possible degradation of biological material on Mars. Their article, “Constraining the Preservation of Organic Compounds in Mars Analog Nontronites After Exposure to Acid and Alkaline Fluids,” was published September 15 in Nature Scientific Reports.
The clay soil of Mars are important objects of study, in the search for life because the clay maintains the molecular organic material inside. But this is no longer certain because prior presence of acid on the surface may have affected the clay’s ability to protect evidence of previous life.
“We know that acidic fluids have flowed on the surface of Mars in the past, altering the clays and its capacity to protect organics,” the researchers said.
“When clays are exposed to acidic fluids, the layers collapse and the organic matter can’t be preserved. They are destroyed. Our results in this paper explain why searching for organic compounds on Mars is so sorely difficult,”
However, another study which was, published on Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, scientists discovered phosphine gas hidden in the planet’s clouds and this might be an indication that there is life in Venus. Although this is not a solid evidence for signs of life.
Small quantities of the gas occur naturally from the breakdown of organic matter. Although the condition of Venus are adverse to life, the environment of its upper cloud layer, around 53-62km (33-38 miles) above the surface, is temperate.
Venus was monitored by Jane Greaves, from Cardiff University, and colleagues with the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
They discovered a spectral symbol – a code which material emits with regard to wavelengths – that is unique to phosphine, and estimated an abundance of 20 parts-per-billion of phosphine in Venus’s clouds.
Researchers considered several ways the gas may have been produced but couldn’t point at the source.
The nature of the planet’s clouds is also reported to be highly acidic and phosphine would normally be destroyed very quickly.
Australian astronomers reported that they discovered no technological signs of alien life in a study of more than 10 million star systems.
The study published in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, revealed that Perth-based researchers utilized the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope in the Western Australian outback, in a project tagged “looking for ET”.
The MWA seeks strong radio emissions at low frequencies, identical to FM radio frequencies on Earth that enable radio broadcasts. These “technosignatures”, can imply the existence of intelligent aliens with technological innovations like our own.
The team conducted the search of a part of sky known to comprise of at least 10 million stars, in the southern constellation of Vela.
But could not find any sign of alien technology.