This is an artist's rendition of a column of clouds on Venus.
The temperature of the different layers is shown at the left.
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe original image
Can there be Life in the Environment of Venus?
Venus is very hot, almost 800 degrees (Fahrenheit) at the surface. Venus also has a very heavy atmosphere. With a heavy atmosphere, there is a lot of pressure. A sophisticated life form such as a human-being would need a heavy shell for protection, just as humans going to great pressures under the sea need a submarine.
We know, however, that there are life forms on earth which can survive in very harsh environments. Bacteria and very simple plant life can survive in unexpected places.
Because of the very high temperatures, the environment of Venus seems unfriendly toward life as we know it on earth. More exploration of Venus is needed to determine if life was once present there.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Spring 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist
, focuses on the ocean, including articles on polar research, coral reefs, ocean acidification, and climate. Includes a gorgeous full color poster!
You might also be interested in:
Jupiter's atmospheric environment is one of powerful winds, going 250 miles per hour, and temperatures from -270 degrees to +32 degrees (freezing temperature). These winds make it hard for life forms to...more
In July, 1996 a team of scientists said that they had discovered possible fossils of bacteria in a meteorite named ALH84001 that came from Mars. It was found in Antarctica in 1984 after having landed there...more
Saturn's atmospheric environment is one of powerful winds, going 250 miles per hour, and temperatures from -270 degrees to +80 degrees. With winds like these, it is hard to have peace and quiet. The region...more
The air of Titan is a lot like the Earth's, except that it is very cold, from -330 degrees to -290 degrees! Like the Earth, there is a lot of Nitrogen and other complex molecules. There also may be an...more
Organisms that are able to "make their own food" are called autotrophs, meaning "self-feeders". Some examples of autotrophs are plants and algae (shown in the picture). Both plants and algae use photosynthesis...more
In the warm early ocean, large molecules came together into a form called *coacervates*. Molecules such as these will form coacervates in the same way that beads of vinegar in oil come together. These...more
Over a very long time, gradual changes in the earliest cells gave rise to new life forms. These new cells were very different from earlier cells because they were able to get their energy from a different...more