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Did Scientists REALLY Find Signs of Life on Venus?

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Generally considered inhabitable, new observations suggest that Venus could in fact be harboring life. Where? In its clouds.
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After earning a bad reputation as Earths evil twin, Venus is finally getting some good press. Recently, a team of international astronomers announced the discovery of a rare gas called phosphine in the planets atmosphere, leaving some to believe it might be a sign of potential life on the seemingly inhabitable planet.

With Venus' surface reaching a temperature hot enough to melt lead; its crushing air pressure; and its ultra-dense clouds made up mostly of corrosive sulfuric acid, its no wonder that the search for life has been focused on Mars.

But in June 2017, astronomers made a surprising find while examining data captured by the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii. Radio telescopes like this take advantage of the fact that atoms and molecules absorb and emit specific frequencies, leaving fingerprints that can be used to identify chemical compounds over astronomical distances.

And a tell-tale dip in the spectrum showed that phosphine, a pyramid-shaped molecule considered by some scientists as a potential biomarker, meaning that it could hint at the presence of life, was somehow present in the upper clouds of Venus. Phosphine is more commonly expected to be found on Earth.

In 2019, the ALMA telescope confirmed the findings, revealing roughly 20 parts per billion of phosphine.

While this discovery is exciting, we still need more data in order to confirm whether or not Venus is a potential candidate for life. Find out more about the journey to discover if there really is life on Earths Evil Twin in this Elements.

#venus #space #astronomy #space #seeker #science #elements

Why Scientists Are Exploring Earths Dangerous Twin

Read More:

Astronomers may have found a signature of life on Venus
"While they have not found direct evidence of living organisms there, if their observation is indeed associated with life, it must be some sort of aerial life-form in Venus clouds the only habitable portion of what is otherwise a scorched and inhospitable world."

What Is Phosphine and Why Does It Point to Extra-Terrestrial Life Floating in the Clouds of Venus?
"To create the observed quantity of phosphine (which consists of hydrogen and phosphorus) on Venus, terrestrial organisms would only need to work at about 10% of their maximum productivity, according to the team."

Is There Life on Venus? These Missions Could Find It
"The reality is that the puzzle of Venusian phosphine will remain unsolved until several critical pieces of information are in hand, says Kandi Jessup, a senior research scientist at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)."


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