This is a special episode – released a couple of weeks earlier than normal – that’s because we’ve got a very special story to talk about this time. A team of astronomers has detected hints that indicate the possibility that there may be life in the clouds of Venus. Despite the maybes and possibilities, this is an astronishing statement, and we’ll explore the discovery in this episode with a few of the people involved in the discovery.
This month is also an anniversary of sorts. This podcast has its roots in a monthly item on the Pythagoras Trousers radio show 10 years ago this month. The format has changed over the years, with this extended version of the podcast came later, but when Rhys Phillips and I started, I don’t think we thought we’d still be going 10 years later.
The focus right now is definitely on Venus. Although its surface is pretty hellish, at about 50km altitude it’s much more pleasant in terms of temperature and pressure, though there’s the problem of sulphuric acid clouds. To find out more, we’re joined by three people involved with the study – Prof Jane Greaves, from Cardiff University, and who led the study, Prof Sara Seager from MIT, and Dr Dave Clements from Imperial College London.