Scientists say there could be alien life on Jupiter as water requirements met

Scientists believe there could be alien life on Jupiter as the planet has a high enough concentration of water to support it.

A new study published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, determined that the clouds on Venus aren't mad of the right materials to support life – but those on Jupiter may be.

Towards the end of last year, analysis of the gases present in Venus' atmosphere revealed the presence of phosphine gas, raising hopes of microbial life on the hell-like planet.

But the latest study found that the water concentration in our nearest neighbor's infamous sulphuric acid clouds is just too dry for life as we know it to find a way to survive.

Microbiologist John Hallsworth found that no known living organism could survive the planet's atmosphere, which is equivalent to a relative humidity of 0.4%, CBS reports.

"The search for extraterrestrial life has sometimes been a bit simplistic in its attitude to water," said co-author Philip Ball. "As our work shows, it's not enough to say that liquid water equates with habitability. "We've got to think too about how Earth-like organisms actually use it – which shows us that we then have to ask how much of the water is actually available for those biological uses."

The team then turned their attention to Jupiter instead.

Their paper says: "We found that, in relation to water activity and temperature, the in situ conditions make Jupiter’s clouds the most likely cloud formations in which life could exist in our Solar System apart from those of Earth.

"A similar analysis would be of interest for Saturn, Uranus or Neptune, once entry-probe missions have been conducted."

Co-author Chris McKay said: "The results were much more optimistic. There is at least a layer in the clouds of Jupiter where the water requirements are met."

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He added: "To show that that layer is habitable we would have to go through all the requirements for life and show that they're all met," McKay said.

The study could also prove to be useful in the search for alien life elsewhere as well.

"We have also performed calculations for Mars and Earth and show that these calculations can be done for planets outside our solar system," Hallsworth said. "While our research doesn't claim that alien (microbial-type) life does exist on other planets in our solar system, it shows that if the water activity and other conditions are right, then such life could exist in places where we haven't previously been looking."

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