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article imageNASA debunks Russian scientist's claim of life on planet Venus

By Andrew Moran     Jan 25, 2012 in Science
Greenbelt - A Russian scientist's claim that he has possibly detected life on the planet Venus has now been debunked by NASA. The United States space agency said the pictures depicting life forms were instead objects from the craft.
It’s a scorpion. It’s a disc. Oh, it’s just a lens cap.
It was reported by Digital Journal over the weekend that a Russian scientist, Leonid Ksanfomaliti, published a paper in the Solar System Research where he claims that he has found evidence of life after analyzing photographs taken by the Venera 13 probe in 1982.
In his research, Ksanfomaliti determined that he discovered objects resembling a scorpion, a disc and a black flap. “What if we forget about the current theories about the nonexistence of life on Venus, let’s boldly suggest that the objects’ morphological features would allow us to say that they are living?”
Ria Novosti now reports that NASA has debunked the scientist’s claims. According to research from NASA mission planner, Jonathan Hill, the object that appeared to be a disc was actually a lens cap that broke off during the deployment of a scientific instrument.
What about the scorpion? NASA analysts say it is not a scorpion, but rather noise from the digital image. Ksanfomaliti made other claims in his published research, but Hill says that it is just a matter of letting your mind create patterns from low-resolution images that are non-existent.
“If those objects were already on the surface of Venus, what are the chances that Venera 13 and 14, which landed nearly 1,000 kilometers apart, would both land inches away from the only ones in sight and they would be in the same positions relative to the spacecraft?” said Hill in an interview with the Life's Little Mysteries. “It makes much more sense that it’s a piece of the lander designed to break off during the deployment of one of the scientific instruments.”
Venus is an interesting planet. Although it is called Earth’s sister planet because of its similarities in size and gravity, Venus is impossible to harbor life due to its closeness to our sun.
The second planet from the sun orbits around our star every 224 days, maintains a surface temperature of 464 degrees Celsius (867 degrees Fahrenheit) and lacks a carbon cycle and organic life. Astronomers argue that Venus has attempted to develop life, but due to its vicinity to the sun, a runaway greenhouse effect and deficiency of a magnetosphere, it has failed.
This isn’t the first time that someone has claimed life on another planet. Digital Journal reported last summer of an astronomy buff apparently discovering the face of Mahatma Gandhi on the surface of Mars. NASA debunked it again citing that it was most likely a collapsed pit.
More about NASA, Venus, Leonid Ksanfomaliti, Venera 13, Extraterrestrials
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