Life on Venus and the interplanetary transfer of biota from Earth
by Rhawn Gabriel Joseph, Ph.D.
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Nov 11, 2019
For thousands of years humans have gazed into darkness of night, wondering, "Are we alone? Is there life on other planets?" According to Dr. Rhawn Joseph in research published yesterday in the Nature/Springer journal, "Astrophysics and Space Science," the answer is "Yes, there is life on other worlds. However, our neighbors are not human, but mushroom-shaped fungi dwelling on the surface of Venus and Mars."
Life on Venus? Is that possible? Dozens of scientists think so, including Carl Sagan and former NASA scientist, David Grinspoon, who proposed almost twenty years ago that life may be dwelling in the Venusian clouds and upon the surface. Dr. Dirk Schulze-Makuch agrees, and has argued that life may have been transferred from Earth to Venus and to Mars encapsulated within meteors ejected from our planet.
Fungi in particular are super survivors. Fungi have colonized the most inhospitable environments of Earth, including the highly radioactive walls of the damaged chernobyl nuclear reactor. Fungi even proliferate within the International Space station where, despite repeated efforts, they cannot be eradicated.
As summed up by Dr. Joseph "these findings support the possibility that fungi, in general, may be hyper-extremophiles, capable of colonizing Mars, Venus, and the harshest of alien environments."
Other scientists have also proposed that Venus may be home to fungi and other creatures. Dr. Joseph, however, is the first to present pictorial evidence of what appears to be classic mushroom-shaped specimens, which were photographed surrounding the Russian Venus Probe Venera-13 landing site; species similar to classic mushrooms and those photographed on Mars.
Dr. Rudolf Schild of the Dept of Astrophysics, at the Harvard-Smithsonian examined the photos and agreed: "These specimens look just like mushrooms."
And they look similar to those on Mars based on research published by Dr. Joseph and his team earlier this year.
Have "Martian Mushrooms" conquered Venus?
Dr. Joseph is quick to admit: "Unfortunately, the Venera-13 photos are of such poor quality that one can only speculate as to the identity of these Venusian mushroom-shaped specimens."
Venus is an extremely inhospitable environment, which some have likened to Hell, with surface temperature of 465.85C. Although deep sea thermophiles thrive adjacent to 400C thermal vents, there are no known Earthly organisms which can survive temperatures above 300C. It would be near impossible for terrestrial organisms to survive on Venus, unless they evolved and now live in the clouds or beneath the surface. Many scientists agree. Venusian life may have adapted and evolved when temperatures rose and the oceans evaporated, with the survivors migrating to more hospitable Venusian environments.
Drs. Dirk Schulze-Makuch, David Greenspoon, Charles Cockell, and S. J. Limaye have all published findings indicating that temperatures in the lower cloud layers of Venus are well within the habitable range of numerous species. According to these scientists, just as numerous organisms thrive in the clouds of Earth, innumerable species may have evolved to the harsh conditions that prevail and may be dwelling in the clouds of Venus.
Dr. Cockell has argued: "Neither the pressure (9.5 MPa) nor the high carbon dioxide concentrations (97%) represent a critical constraint to the evolution of life on the surface or in the atmosphere. In the lower and middle cloud layers of Venus, temperatures drop and water availability increases, generating a more biologically favorable environment."
As based on data presented in Dr. Joseph's "Life on Venus..." article, Venusian life may have also migrated to below ground. Dr. Joseph points out: "On Earth there is a considerable biomass just beneath the surface. On Venus, because soil and basalt rock have insulating properties, temperatures just beneath the surface might fall to 200+ C - well within the limit for the hardiest hyper-thermophiles on Earth."
But what about water? Many scientists believe there is substantial water in the clouds of Venus; enough for billions of organisms. In the "Life on Venus" article it is argued there may be substantial water below ground as well. Using the deserts of Earth as an example,Venusian underground waters may percolate toward the surface thereby providing moisture to subsurface organisms before evaporating. As reported by in Dr. Joseph's article published in the journal Astrophysics and Space Science, "The hyper-arid, waterless surface of Venus may draw moisture and water up from the subterranean depths, just as occurs in the arid deserts of Earth. If so, then any organisms living below ground may be continually supplied with water as it rises to the surface."
Many scientists believe that for billions of years Venus was a very wet planet and had rivers, streams, lakes and oceans where life could have taken root and evolved. In a recent study by Way and Del Genio, based on the results from four simulations, they determined that Venus "may have had enough condensable water on its surface for a shallow ocean..." and "would have been able to maintain stable temperatures - from a low of 20 C (68F) to a high of 50 C (122F) - for about three billion years" until about 750 mya.
Venus may have provided a habitable Earth-like environment for billions of years. What happened to those oceans of water? Perhaps they still exist, albeit deep beneath the surface and within the clouds of Venus, where innumerable organisms may thrive.
As theorized by Drs Schulze-Makuch, Limaye and Cockell, when those waters began to evaporate and temperatures rose, surviving Venusian life forms adapted, evolved, and migrated to the clouds. Or as also argued by Dr. Joseph, they flourish within the cooler temperatures of the subsoil.
Most scientists believe life began on Earth in the proverbial "organic soup." Could similar soups have bubbled up life on Venus and Mars? There has been speculation that life may have begun on Mars and was then transferred via ejecta to Earth. However, as pointed out by Dr. Joseph, "On Earth the myriad forms of life are without number, whereas the most advanced life forms on Venus and Mars may be limited to eukaryotic fungi. What we know for sure is there is abundant life on Earth, and some of that life is transported to the upper atmosphere and then ejected into space via powerful solar winds. Numerous studies have demonstrated that these organisms can immediately form spores and survive in deep space, perhaps for tens of millions of years."
It would not take millions of years to get to Mars and Venus. The interplanetary voyage could be made in just a few months.
According to the calculations of Nobel Laureate Svante Arrhenius: "if we assume that the spore starts with zero velocity" and originates from Earth, then due to the sun's gravity, galactic winds and radiation pressure, it would take "forty days" to travel from Earth to Venus and perhaps twice that long to intersect the orbit of Mars.
A number of scientist have published data supporting the theory that bolide ejecta, meteors, from Earth, may have transferred billions of creatures to Venus, Mars, and other planets. As detailed in the Astrophysics and Space Science article by Joseph: "Microbe-laden debris ejected into space following terrestrial impact by asteroids, comets, and meteors, may have repeatedly transferred life from Earth to Venus and Mars. Many species of microbe have evolved the ability to survive a violent hypervelocity impact, shock pressures of 100 GPa, and extreme acceleration and ejection into space including the vacuum and frigid temperatures of an interstellar environment; the cosmic rays, gamma rays, UV rays, and ionizing radiation they would encounter; and the descent through the atmosphere and the crash landing onto the surface of a planet."
May researchers also believe that Venus and Mars, beginning in the early asteroid-comet-meteor bombardment phase 3.8 bya, may have been repeatedly and continually seeded with life from Earth, attached to dust, ejecta, and more recently, via space craft. In the early history of Mars, Earth and Venus, these planets may have repeatedly exchanged life - the ultimate source of which is as yet unknown.
According to the Earth Impact Database, there are currently 200 known terrestrial impact craters on Earth. Collectively, these impacts could have ejected millions of rocks, boulders and tons of debris into space. Scientists have argued that some of this debris and any adhering microbes likely landed on Mars and Venus. As pointed out by Dr. Joseph "Given that microbes can survive the shock of a violent impact and hyper velocity launch ejecting them into space, as well as the descent to the surface of a planet, the interplanetary transfer of viable microorganisms, via bolides, within our Solar System, is overwhelmingly likely beginning, possibly, soon after life appeared on Earth over 3.8 bya."
Life may have been repeatedly transported across this solar system.
Studies by Beech et al. 2018 and other scientist support this theory. For example, according to the Earth Impact Database, over the course of the last 550 million years there have been a total of 97 major impacts, leaving craters at least 5 kilometers across. Beech and colleagues have estimated that in consequence, approximately "10/13 kg of potentially life-bearing matter has been ejected from Earth's surface into the inner solar system."
Consider, for example, the Chicxulub crater, formed approximately 66 Mya, which has a 150 km diameter. Beech estimates that given an 25 km/s impactor velocity, that up to 5.5 x 10/12 kg of debris may have been ejected into space along with unknown volumes of water. Perhaps millions of trillions of organisms were buried within this ejecta and survived. According to calculations by Beech and colleagues, this microbial-laden ejecta could have entered the orbits of and intercepted Venus, Mars and other planets within a few weeks or months.
The "Martian mushrooms" photographed on Venus are located near the Russian Venera 13 space craft. According to the just published articled in Astrophysics and Space Science, the turbulence of the landing may have uncovered many of these specimens, whereas those close to the landing zone may have bene obliterated.
Venera 13 landed in the Beta-Phoebe region at median elevations in the upland rolling plains province, an area described as a "stony desert" with lose soil, compacted sand, pebbles, and rocks similar to terrestrial tholeiitic basalts which make up much of Earth's ocean crust. NASA chief scientist Garvin likened the area to the bedrock at Snake River Plain, and noted that many large and small rocks were partly buried beneath the sandy soil.
Dr. Joseph reports that he's examined all the available photos from the Venera missions. Those from Venera 13 are the most convincing evidence of Venusian life.
Specifically, upon examining panoramic color images from the 1982 Soviet Venera 13 mission - reprocessed by NASA - Dr. Joseph identified several well defined specimens with caps and stalks which resemble the classic terrestrial mushrooms. These specimens protrude approximately 2 to 3 cm from the surface, and the caps are approximately 3 to 4 cm in diameter. There are also dozens of smaller, less defined specimens including those which form a crescent of mushroom-shapes. There is no known geological or weathering process on Earth which can sculpt mushroom-like shapes from rocks.
Earlier this year, Dr. Joseph and his team of scientists, published evidence of similar mushroom-shaped species on Mars, now popularly referred to as "Martian Mushrooms." This latest study indicates that these hardy species may have colonized not just Venus and Mars, but perhaps the moons of Saturn and Jupiter.
So are these Venusian mushrooms alive? Are they Fossils? Dr. Joseph admits that without additional evidence he can only speculate. However, when comparing these specimens with those on Mars and Earth, it appears that fungi may have successfully colonized three planets in this solar system.
So, yes, we are not alone. There are mushrooms on Venus, Earth, and Mars. Where did they come from? Heaven only knows!
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