Just to add to this mad year, scientists have confirmed a breakthrough which has showcased signs of 'alien life' on Venus.
Scientists have discovered a rare molecule in Venus' clouds which could suggest that colonies of molecules are thriving in oxygen-fee environments.
An international team of astronomers led by Professor Jane Greaves of Cardiff University have announced the discovery of phosphine gas in the clouds of Venus.
Phosphine gas is a molecule which is produced on Earth by microbes that live in similar oxygen-free environments. However, the atmosphere of Venus, clocking in usually at a temperate 464C, is too hot to sustain this life. However, the life could be sustained in the clouds of the planet, high in the clouds where conditions are more moderate.
“We’re not saying it’s life. We’re saying it’s a possible sign of life.” https://t.co/ZgaWClPRTQ
— Science News (@ScienceNews) September 15, 2020
These molecules were first detected by the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii.
On Sky News, the lead astronomer on the experiment, Professor Greaves, said that it was undertaken out of sheer curiosity.
"This was an experiment made out of pure curiosity, really - taking advantage of the JCMT's powerful technology.
"I thought we'd just be able to rule out extreme scenarios, like the clouds being stuffed full of organisms. When we got the first hints of phosphine in Venus' spectrum, it was a shock."
The news of potential life on Venus led to a number of experts speculating what could be done next.
The BBC's science correspondent Jonathan Amos pondered on whether private firms would attempt to race to Venus with this news being released. Furthermore, Professor Emma Bunce, president of the Royal Astronomical Society, called for a new mission to Venus to investigate their findings.
"A key question in science is whether life exists beyond Earth, and the discovery by Professor Jane Greaves and her team is a key step forward in that quest," said Professor Bunce.
[This is] something that makes a strong case for a return space mission to Venus."