Research by international team of scientists says extra-terrestrial microbes may survive by being blown around by winds in cooler clouds.
A NASA-backed study now claims that aliens could be living in the clouds of Venus.
According to the researchers, simple microbial life forms might exist in the upper atmosphere of the world dubbed Earth’s evil twin.
Mysterious dark patches have been detected by space probes in its clouds which appear to resemble the light-absorbing properties of bacteria on Earth, scientists say.
Venus is a rocky world similar in size to ours, but incredibly inhospitable at the surface.
The temperature is twice the maximum setting in a kitchen oven and it rains sulphuric acid.
Research by an international team of scientists says extra-terrestrial microbes may survive by being blown around by winds in the cooler cloud tops.
Study co-author David J Smith, of Nasa’s Ames Research Center, says similar bacteria and other organisms on Earth have been found alive at altitudes of 25 miles.
Prof Rakesh Mogul, of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, said: “On Earth, we know life can thrive in very acidic conditions.”
The US is preparing a delta-winged aircraft to be dropped into the Venus clouds for a year’s data analysis.