Life on Venus? Here’s what the new evidence for phosphine in the clouds indicates

In 2020, scientists detected the presence of phosphine gas in the clouds Vesper, That discovery generated much debate and excitement about the presence of life on Venus, given that phosphine is a molecule associated with biological activity on Earth. However, the initial study, led by Jane Greaves of Cardiff University, could not be replicated by subsequent research.

In an exciting development, Jane Greaves and her team have detected phosphine at much deeper levels in the atmosphere of Venus than ever before using the James Clark Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) at Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii.

Greaves and his team studied the findings for more than a year before making them public at the National Astronomy Meeting 2023.

Is there life on Venus?

Phosphine on Earth is evolved by bacteria that live in environments with very little oxygen. In contrast, phosphine has been found deep in the clouds of Venus.

In his speech at the National Astronomy Meeting, Greaves said that the clouds are the most interesting part and that there is little chance of any kind of life there.

However, the researchers noted that while the presence of phosphine may indicate a potential biosignature, it could also be due to other processes that are not yet fully understood.

Greaves is quoted as saying, “There’s a big school of thought that you can make phosphine by tossing phosphorus-rich rocks in the high atmosphere and fracturing them with water, acid, and other things, and getting phosphine gas.”

catch all business News, market news, today’s fresh news events and Breaking News Update on Live Mint. download mint news app To get daily market updates.


Updated: July 11, 2023, 08:12 AM IST