Is there life on Venus?
A recent announcement made by scientists has sent both excitement and hope among the stargazers and cosmic lovers. The astronomers have written about the discovery of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus, and this has raised hopes of the presence of lifeforms on the neighbouring planet.
A team of scientists have reported traces of phosphine in a concentration of approximately 20 parts per billion, thousands to millions of times more than what could otherwise be expected.
Mostly produced in industrial processes, phosphine, is a colourless but smelly gas. It is known to be made only by some species of bacteria that survive in the absence of oxygen. Phosphine is a compound made from phosphorus and hydrogen, and on Earth, its only natural source is tiny microbes that live in oxygen-free environments.
Rechecking the facts
Though the discovery was made in 2017, the scientists kept on rechecking the data and decided to make it public only now. Though there is phosphine in the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, there it is not a sign of life but Venus is different in this case.
Not sure though
And though the scientists have not confirmed about the presence of life on Venus, the world is excited. As the microbes could survive without oxygen, this could also mean a different way of life in future.
But the chemists and geologists will be trying to identify other reactions and processes that could be alternative explanations to determine whether the phosphine on Venus is really produced by life.