News broke Monday of one of the most significant scientific discoveries in all of human history: alien life in our solar system. An international team of astronomers using powerful telescopes discovered signs of microbial life in the atmosphere of Venus. They found a chemical, phosphine, in one of the planet’s cloud layers, and the existence of phosphine, these scientists say, can only be explained by the presence of life.
It’s the kind of news that, in normal times, would have captivated the world. Life on Venus! Questions and possibilities abound. Is it dangerous? Where did it come from? How does it change our understanding of the solar system or what makes a planet habitable? When and how will we launch an expedition to collect physical samples of the Venusian microbes? Does this mean we’re not alone in the universe after all? What else might be out there?
But these are not normal times. In less than a day, the