NASA Issues Announcement Regarding Claims of Possible Signs of Life on Venus

Venus Artistic Impression

This artistic impression depicts Venus. Astronomers at MIT, Cardiff University, and elsewhere may have observed signs of life in the atmosphere of Venus. Credit: ESO (European Southern Observatory)/M. Kornmesser & NASA/JPL/Caltech

[On Monday, scientific research was published showing phosphine, a possible signature of life, present in the atmosphere of Venus. The following is NASA’s announcement related to this discovery. -ed.]

A paper about chemistry on Venus was recently published in Nature Astronomy. NASA was not involved in the research and cannot comment directly on the findings; however, we trust in the scientific peer review process and look forward to the robust discussion that will follow its publication. 

NASA has an extensive astrobiology program that searches for life in many different ways across the solar system and beyond. Over the past two decades, we’ve made new discoveries that collectively imply a significant increase of the likelihood to find life elsewhere.

Hubble Space Telescope Ultraviolet-Light Venus

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet-light image of the planet Venus, taken on Jan. 24 1995, shows the planet’s cloud tops at distance of 70.6 million miles (113.6 million kilometers) from Earth. Credit: NASA/ESA/Space Telescope Science Institute

As with an increasing number of planetary bodies, Venus is proving to be an exciting place of discovery, though it had not been a significant part of the search for life because of its extreme temperatures, atmospheric composition and other factors. Two of the next four candidate missions for NASA’s Discovery Program are focused on Venus, as is Europe’s EnVision mission, in which NASA is a partner. Venus also is a planetary destination we can reach with smaller missions. 

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe.

67 Comments on "NASA Issues Announcement Regarding Claims of Possible Signs of Life on Venus"

  1. Rick van der Veen-Box | September 16, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Reply

    “Tell my wife I said, ‘hello.'”

  2. And so…where is the content to meet the headline? Where’s the NASA “announcement”? Um…”

  3. Brandon, who now knows how easy it is to be a journalist | September 16, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Reply

    The NASA announcement was that they couldn’t comment on it because they weren’t involved? I’m not sure the author knows exactly what an announcement is.

  4. I think paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 (most of the article) are all the NASA announcement.

  5. The nasa comment is right below where it says “The following is NASA’s announcement related to this discovery. -ed.]

    It’s basically the entire article.

  6. Brandon, who now knows how easy it is to be a journalist | September 16, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Reply

    I for one recognize where the NASA comment started regardless of quotes to denote it. My point is it is disingenuous click-bait to call it an announcement.

    “NASA Issues Announcement…” bla bla bla. People click on it for said announcement.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | September 17, 2020 at 10:28 am | Reply

      Of course a title is click bait. That said, it was precise.

      Or what would you have said?

      • Brandon, who now knows how easy it is to be a journalist | September 17, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Reply

        “NASA Comments On Claims Of Possible Signs Of Life On Venus”

        or

        “NASA Weighs In On Claims Of Possible Signs Of Life On Venus”

  7. Pancake Astronomy | September 16, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Reply

    Scientists have discovered that it may be possible to make pancakes without using pancake mix though they haven’t yet figured it out. Read this amazing new discovery in Pancake Scientific to learn absolutely nothing.

  8. There is no “Astrobiology”, there is no Life on Venus. Hot acidic Gas, found on Venus, is not life! Life is reading, writing, eating, drinking, talking. Also, there are no Aliens. You can search a Billion planets, and you won’t find any Aliens. Aliens don’t exist! All there is, are 8 Billion humans already here. So, stop having sex, and close your Legs.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | September 17, 2020 at 10:39 am | Reply

      Obviously there is a proliferating area of research that is called astrobiology, ” an interdisciplinary scientific field concerned with the origins, early evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe.” [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrobiology ]

      The rest of the comment concerning astrobiology continues your unsupported opinion. It is indeed an increasing prior likelihood for life elsewhere, based on observations such as this – a topic you avoid discussing – and recent finds from integrated genomic and fossil record that life evolved and diversified prodigiously here on Earth – meaning it it is an easy process.

      That a population of billions of humans would necessitate changing sexual behavior is not in evidence. On the contrary fecundity has dropped drastically as people have become less poor and more educated, having access to medicine, abortion and contraceptives. If Gates is correct´that the current pandemic has or will erase the latest two decades of economic success among the poor, that is what we need to concentrate on – vaccines and less man made global warming (which is known to be comorbid with pandemi risk).

    • Amazing. I had no idea you’d been to Venus a billion other planets. Wherever did you find the time?

  9. Not exactly the most well-written article ever, it is true… But I was able to clearly understand where the NASA comment started. Not sure where it ENDED though…who thinks astrobiology is ‘distracting’ life in the universe? Is this the journalist’s opinion or is this part of the announcement by NASA? I mean, I had sort of figured that out already…but I wasn’t expecting NASA to flat-out fess up to it so blatantly right before an election! Hm. I wonder if the Astrobiologists are aware, or are they also targets of the distraction campaign? Or do they simply study the distraction of life?

  10. Venus is a Cold planet and it will be amazing to live there… 😀 <3 <3

  11. I, for one, welcome our sex goddess overlords!

  12. Hello, i’m from the future.

    unfreeze me in 9987 before Chris.

    bye past human

  13. To think Earth is the only planet with life is ludicrous. Billions upon billions maybe trillions of stars in millions of galaxies most with multiple planets and moons!
    Yeah were the only ones.😂😂

    • To me, the relatively short time between the end of the Late Heavy Bombardment and the origin of life (about 500 million years) means it is likely it arises whenever the conditions are suitable.

      The LHB was the “cleanup” of protoplanets 3.8 billion years ago, when Jupiter & Saturn interacted and shifted their orbits. This threw everything else around and left a record on the smaller bodies that don’t wipe away their history like Earth. Once the surface stopped getting pummeled and cooled down enough, life arose pretty quickly.

      • Torbjörn Larsson | September 17, 2020 at 10:48 am | Reply

        Actually the late bombardment hypothesis is dying. See yesterday’s presentation on the Vesta impact record for example, just one in the many data that not only puts observation in direct tension with the hypothesis but has moved it to near detah. [It is “arguable” in the paper abstract, IIRC.]

        The modern hypotheses are that the gas giant migration happened roughly terrestrial planets finished accretion, explaining why they look nicely aligned and why Jupiter’s Trojans still ha a binary pair. (Possibly explaining the later Theia impactor making Moon, as well.) That results in the expected exponential impactor decay rates seen everywhere, even now on Moon AFAIK.

        It also explains why the integrated genomic and fossil record show life evolved at once here on Earth [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6152910/pdf/emss-78644.pdf ].

    • Dominus Vobiscum | September 17, 2020 at 9:23 am | Reply

      Yes, God is an awesome God, isn’t He?
      Life can only come from life. Unless God put it out there, it ain’t happening.

      • Torbjörn Larsson | September 17, 2020 at 10:53 am | Reply

        ? Superstition, when we know only evolution produces life? C.f. my reference responding to daniel.

        Besides, since 2018 religion has been put alongside astrology and homeopathy based on the evidence. Space is on average flat, which means the system energy average to zero and no free work has acted on the expansion process or its objects at any time – it is a spontaneous adiabatic expansion, according to observations.

        There is no place for religious magic, the so called ‘gods’ do not exist. Besides that the article already was on science and not private superstition, that is. Do scientists intrude on your private magic meetings and propound on how nature really is natural? No, because that would be rude.

        • Torbjörn Larsson | September 17, 2020 at 11:15 am | Reply

          Oh, and if your idea is that evolution doesn’t show continuity between geology and biology, between non-life systems over half alive systems to live systems – I forget all the superstitious mumbo-jumbo claims – rest assured we observe it does [ https://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol2016116 ].

        • Dominus Vobiscum | September 17, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Reply

          Superstition would actually apply more acurately to those who believe everything came from nothing. Jesus, who created you in His image, is real and He came to save sinners like you and I.

          • Dominus Vobiscum | September 17, 2020 at 5:36 pm |

            >> accurately << I was hoping my misspelling would evolve but I am not that superstitious. Ha ha, God bless you, Mr. Larrson!

  14. The announcement is solely to to dissuade clueless people from constantly contacting them for a statement about it.

  15. Sounds like NASA got showed up and is trying to save face.

  16. NASA announcement that few month ago

  17. perhaps life is a very special gift–perhaps we are the core of all feelings

  18. Theresa Ellen Kasznicki | September 17, 2020 at 6:03 am | Reply

    I’m just waking up. Like the post here. Interesting. September 2020

  19. Billions and billions of dollars is spent daily for science, and all you come up with is there may be life out there. You’ve been saying that for years now. We see a few pretty pictures of outer space. Show me some real proof. Or how about using some of billions and feed the children of this country. Even better help give them and there families a place to live. Do we care about outer space that much?

    • Just wait until you hear about how much money is spent on the military!

    • Torbjörn Larsson | September 17, 2020 at 11:00 am | Reply

      And scientists came up with internet (ARAP) and the web (CERN), and all they get for their hard work is either accolades from those who acknowledge science or thoughtless criticism from those who couldn’t care less.

      For instance NASA, who also do exploration, costs 0.5 % of the US federal budget while the military takes 10 times as much. Why can’t US stop making aggressive wars (e.g. Iraq on a long list of hundreds throughout history)?

      Also, science gives the best return on investment a nation can do, and it produces stuff like vaccines (pandemic, anyone?). Most people chew bubble gum and walk at the same time – we can do all these things that improve society simultaneously.

  20. What? No hot space elves?

  21. Armyisbtsfandomname | September 17, 2020 at 7:58 am | Reply

    Stop. Pls 2020 is not the year to discover aliens! Stop and walk away! Btw if you want your 2020 to go better, check out bts and their music! Trust me, it will make you so happy and you will have so much fun joining our family called ARMY!

  22. Dominus Vobiscum | September 17, 2020 at 9:20 am | Reply

    NASA thinks we may probably sorta find a possibility of indicators leading to the slight likelihood of potential life on other planets. We are so close…if…if…if we just had more funding.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | September 17, 2020 at 11:03 am | Reply

      It is not more funding that they ask for but discuss where to direct it, see the article.

      Besides, wasn’t you the one that promoted costly religious superstitioon above? Do you know the US statistics that says nost of the funds that are supposed to go towards helping people go back into the pocket of the church, paying buildings and salaries et cetera? Talk about “if…if…if we just had more funding” [we could sell even more snake oil to poor people].

  23. I read what is posted: By NASA? Then I read statements by others. All I read was that an Astrobiology definition, followed by LOL a list of commercials advertising, or degrading what I just did read. TOO MUCH Opinion in this. I need facts, not just what Somebody Thinks

  24. I hope the search for extra-terrestrial beyond earth has been one of the ambitious research projects of an esteemed organization like NASA. UFO sightings, sending short lazer pulses across the space, setting up radio frequency antennas around a large area to capture possible alien signals, Sending spacecrafts deep into the space out of the solar system to look for possible alien life and a plethora of intiatives and missions razor focussed on uncovering the possibilities of life outside earth is finally beginning to show results. The universe is so humongous and gargantuous with billions of galaxies and trillions of stars and possibly quadrillions of planets to even think and believe that only earth supports life. Kudos NASA.

  25. Jeffrey JACKSON | September 17, 2020 at 9:58 am | Reply

    My god NASA is not saying life like us ….life itself like microbiology might handle not humans or aliens…. we search for intelligent life and yet we haven’t discovers it on earth YET fascinating!!

  26. So basically, one of the potentially most important astrobiology finds in history, and NASA says,

    “Basically, a thing happend, blah, blah, blah, etc.”

    • Torbjörn Larsson | September 17, 2020 at 11:09 am | Reply

      They say what is expected from a credible organization.

      Lots of “blah, blah, blah, etc” in response on this thread.

  27. Please, learn to use quotes and correct text formating. Thank you.

  28. Missouri astronomer | September 17, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Reply

    Please stop pretending like you know everything Torbjörn Larsson, you are making real scientists look bad. Still has trojans? Saying we created the internet? Hate to say it but the military had internet long before civilians. Not very many scientists claim they know something for sure, matter of fact the astronomy field is the worst to get into in terms of claiming knowledge.

    As to the article, thank you NASA for clearing up that you had no hand in the actual paper. I hope everyone else understands this, as Venus is one of the least studied planets and thus could easily be creating this gas through an unseen process not involving biomechanics. That said, it is also possible for certain microbes to live in the same conditions as the top cloud layers of Venus here on Earth.

    With how close Venus and Mars are, we have been swapping rocks with them and as such I am pretty sure life. Several asteroids that have been confirmed to come from Mars have been found on Earth, it is silly to think they don’t have rocks from us.

    If you can’t understand how rocks could be swapped by planets think meteor impacts, big ones. The one that hit at the time of the dinosaurs easily flung tons of rock out of orbit, some are still floating in space. There was life when this occured, and it is speculated organisms could have lived through this hidden deep in the rocks. After hanging out in space they start to enter Venus’s atmosphere and burn accordingly, venting out into their new home. With Mars slamming into the surface in certain areas puts you right at the ice line in a couple inches.

    The only way we will ever truly be able to call something on one of our neighboring planets is if it has a completely different DNA set up. If it is like our own, it probably is related to us, and thus would not be so alien after all. As I try to always end my comments about extra terrestrial life, if you want to see alien life go look up walking trees. Yes, there are trees here on Earth that walk.

  29. The Most High made the sun, moon, and stars, no mention on any other planets in The Bible. Lol what you are looking at is a CGI photo of Satan’s dream to distract you from what is already precious here on earth. Enjoy all of the photos Disney made

    • OMG A theist without a modicum of science education.

      I wish I was dead!

      …That’s right – Dead!

      Not in a heaven or a hell, but in a box in the ground.

  30. It’s a shame we have to wait 6 years before NASA can be confident one way or the other. I will be in my fifties, or dead, by the time this happens.

  31. Matin mohammadi | September 17, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Reply

    It’s so sad to see people commenting about the title and all other shit and not focusing on what is actually happening… possible life on another planet. Please go research and understand the debth of what it is, instead of arguing with the person who wrote this so you could learn something new and exciting. Thank you author.

  32. Wow 🥺 the comments are better then the article. It was quick article on some statements people. Calm down 😂 I am having a hard time finding intelligent life here on Earth lately so I hope they find it somewhere. I love the prospect we might be able to be in space and visit other planets one day. Open your minds people. The God comments trip me out. People this is science not church. Planets weren’t brought into existence for some force to distract you from some higher plain. ☠️ I can’t this is too funny.🤣

  33. Excited until I read it. Sounds like wishful thinking. Either way it occurred to many 25 years ago 99.99999999% of the universe is devoid of life. And yet we are not smart enough to appreciate the little blue globe called home. Oooooo I know a buzzkill.

  34. Whomever thinks that life only exists here on earth…..sorry, but you are 100% incorrect.

  35. Earth is the only planet in the solar system that can sustain life and greens. It is exact position to the sun and moon to have those elements of gasses air etc. maybe on the far side of the sun and moon in same position as earth there could be life. We can’t tell unless NASA could see there.

  36. While men prepare their lunchbox and suitcase to go visit Mars by 2030, should our fellow sisters prepare their toiletry bag to visit cousins in Venus? They’ll need more make up, 400 degrees is a little warmer than Kalahari dessert and humidity is slightly acidic

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