Life May Have Just Been Found on Venus in Its Hellish Atmosphere

Synthesized false color image of Venus using 283-nm and 365-nm band images taken by the Venus Ultraviolet Imager

Synthesized false color image of Venus using 283-nm and 365-nm band images taken by the Venus Ultraviolet Imager

So much more information will become available in the next few years - and look how the very first thing we find is a suspicious chemical signature on the planet right next door to us! Jane Greaves at Cardiff University. From what is known about phosphine on Earth, the molecule can be synthesized industrially, or by bacteria that can grow in environments where oxygen is low or non-existent. Phosphine is a poisonous gas.

Those involved in the project are quick to state that more research is needed before claiming life has been discovered on the planet.

The global team of astronomers say phosphine, a rare mixture of hydrogen and phosphorus, is now floating freely above the scorching hot surface of Venus. However, this time, the space agency could lose against another company is looking for intelligent life forms on Venus.

The statement came the day after scientists revealed that the Earth's atmosphere contained phosphine.

Astronomers have speculated for decades that high clouds on Venus could offer a home for microbes-floating free of the scorching surface, but still needing to tolerate very high acidity. Scientists investigating rocky exoplanets would then be able to compare the atmospheres of these bodies with that of Venus, to identify any potential phosphine biosignature. The lighter hydrogen ions would have then been blown into interplanetary space, carried away by the solar winds, never to return. They turn carbon dioxide into methane - CO₂ to CH₄. It is here, in these (still troublingly acidic, but much more temperate) clouds, that phosphine has been found.

The global research team from the UK, US and Japan has estimated that phosphone exists in the clouds of Venus at small concentrations of about 20 molecules per billion.

Nevertheless, astronomers remain in the dark as to how and why phosphine was present on the planet.

Greaves et al. will continue their study once they are allotted additional telescope time. Just as the discovery team did, existing telescopes capable of detecting phosphine around Venus can be used for follow-up observations, to both definitively confirm the initial finding and figure out if the amount of PH₃ in the atmosphere changes with time. To fully get a handle on what's happening at Venus, we have to actually get into the atmosphere.

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What conclusion did the team come to?

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States provided some extra research into how phosphine is produced in nature to better understand the research, as explained in this video.

While not a direct observation of life, the sheer quanity of phosphine can not be explained from another natural process.

Not necessarily. Unfortunately, the presence of phosphine is merely an indicator that there might be life present, not a definitive confirmation.

The astronomers, who have shared the discovery, haven " t collected specimens of Venusian microbes, nor have they taken any pictures.

"Life on Venus? The discovery of phosphine, a byproduct of anaerobic biology, is the most significant development yet in building the case for life off Earth", he said on Twitter. Two of the missions involve the use of robotic probes, and one of them focuses on the use of a robotic probe that could explore the Venusian atmosphere. So, it will perform a flyby and launch a probe into the planet's atmosphere.

No longer confined to territories here on Earth, Russia has now staked its claim on Venus, saying it is a "Russian planet".

What about a meteorite bringing the substance to Venus? Image credit: JAXA/ISAS/DARTS/Damia Bouic. Credit line was added to the image. The united states changed into inside the center of the distance race with the USA, and it made feel that the United States would position a big exclamation factor on its achievement using slapping a flag at the lunar floor.

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