There is a story going around that there is evidence of life on Venus. The evidence would be very convincing if some descriptions of it were true: Scorpion or crab like creatures walking around on the surface sounds a lot like life to me! And, the research is published in a peer reviewed journal put out by one of the big publishing houses, and the paper is by a mainstream Russian scientist who’s done a lot of work. But is seems to be very wrong.

The research is by Leonid Ksanfomaliti, and looks at photographs from the 1980s period landing probe. What looks a lot like a crab seen in two separate photographs is actually two fragments of lens caps that fell off of the probe’s cameras (I assume they were supposed to do that). Other objects are also explained as artifacts or tricks of light.

This really wouldn’t be interesting enough to mention here were it not for the fact that the version of the story where there really might be life on Venus is getting some traction, despite the widespread story of how there is no life on Venus.

This is from Yahoo, and This is from MSNBC.

Comments

  1. #1 Paul Vasquez
    January 24, 2012

    The media never tires of misrepresenting science, and I’m certain this will be no exception.

  2. #2 CherryBombSim
    January 25, 2012

    So, Conspiracy nut, what you are saying is that there is a conspiracy to generate conspiracy theories? Hmmm, that could explain a lot.

  3. #3 Dunc
    January 25, 2012

    Meh. Everybody knows that conspiracy theories are CIA / NSA disinfo psyops to distract people from the real conspiracies. And yes, that does include this conspiracy theory. We’re through the looking glass here, people!

  4. #4 Calli Arcale
    January 25, 2012

    Reluctant Conspiracy Nut: the United States almost certainly did not shoot down Phobos Grunt. The head of Roscosmos has floated the notion of a deliberate or accidental disruption, but the international space community has treated this idea with the scorn it deserves.

    Problems with the idea:
    1) If Phobos-Grunt can’t withstand passing through American radar, it’s never going to survive the cruise to Mars either.

    2) It’s doubtful *any* American radar can disrupt even an incompetently designed spacecraft.

    3) The spacecraft went nowhere near HAARP in Alaska, and the radar facility at Kwajalein Atoll (which the director of Roscosmos mentioned at one point) was inactive during the time that Phobos-Grunt failed.

    As far as physically shooting it down, that’s patently absurd. There were two “debris shedding events” while the spacecraft was in orbit, but they were pretty minor. The spacecraft was even photographed by uber-astrophotographer Thierry Legault; it appeared completely intact, but backwards. Honestly, all signs point to a technical fault.

    If you read up on the other two probes sent to Phobos, back in the 80s, Phobos 1 and Phobos 2, those really aren’t mysteries either, and are widely believed to have been computer malfunctions. (That’s right, Russia has sent 3 probes to Phobos, not 30.)

  5. #5 Calli Arcale
    January 25, 2012

    Greg,

    Yes, the lens covers were indeed meant to fall off. They’re not actually fragments, though. That’s the complete cover that you see in each image. There were two on each spacecraft; the reason why Mr Ksanfomaliti thinks it appears to have moved is because he sees it on two images taken in different directions. Of course, the Veneras didn’t have any ability to turn their heads around; there were two fixed cameras, so obviously the second image is taken by a second camera which would have its own cover.

    Check out this fantastic link for the surface images:
    http://www.mentallandscape.com/C_CatalogVenus.htm

    Amusing factoid: on Venera 14, one of the two camera port covers unfortunately landed right where the spring-loaded sensor arm was destined to land. Consequently, although previous missions had returned useful information about the surface composition of Venus, Venera 14 diligently returned data on the port cover. On that page, if you scroll down to the Venera 14 images, you can see this in the Camera 1 images.

  6. #6 Drivebyposter
    January 25, 2012

    Repluctant:
    It would be nice if you posted evidence for ALL of your claims instead of 0 of them.
    Also, it would be a nice change of scenery to get a conspiracy moron that knows how to spell check. Making sure something is accurate is apparently something you freaks* aren’t capable of doing.

    *Freaks in this instance includes:
    Conspiracy theorists, paranormal investigators, general insane morons, conservatives/fascists, people with massive hero AND martyr complexes, and people who believe in magic. You seem to fall into all of those categories.

  7. #7 NJ
    January 25, 2012

    Drivebyposter@ 8:

    It’s just another Rob Hood sockpuppet; someone forgot to give him his meds earlier, so he is haunting Greg’s blog with his usual conspiracy freakshow. You can see more of his work on other recent posts here.

    Once you are familiar with his shtick, he’s not hard to sniff out: Watch – his next post will mention ‘flouride’ and Canadians again.

  8. #8 Drivebyposter
    January 26, 2012

    I’m not a marxist. I’ve never met a marxist.

    You don’t know what marxism is. You don’t know what fascism is. You think taxation is evil, but don’t know what it is either. There’s a running theme here, have you spotted it? (Hint: the theme is that you don’t fucking know anything)

    If you hate America so much, why don’t you leave it?

  9. #9 Drivebyposter
    January 26, 2012

    Also, I’m still waiting for evidence for the countless mindless claims you have made.

Current ye@r *