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Scientists discover phosphine in Venus atmosphere: Is there life on Venus?

Team Udayavani, Sep 18, 2020, 4:25 PM IST

Recently, scientific research was published showing phosphine, a possible signature of life, present in the atmosphere of Venus.

Researchers at Cardiff University in Wales and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, together with colleagues from Asian and other British universities, have published a paper in the journal Nature Astronomy in which they claim to have found a smelly, toxic gas phosphine high in the thick clouds of the Venusian atmosphere.

Phosphine gas is generally toxic with a garlic-like smell and is found in the bodies of living beings on earth.

On Earth, phosphine is associated with life, with microbes living in the guts of animals like penguins, or in oxygen-poor environments such as swamps.

Venus is proving to be an exciting place of discovery, though it had not been a significant part of the search for life because of its extreme temperatures, atmospheric composition and other factors.

Actual life forms on Venus have not been discovered yet but observations suggest the possibility of microbial activity in the  upper layers  of the atmosphere The new   findings will further ignite interests in space missions to Venus

However, scientists claim that the amount of gas used in the findings is not enough and a consistently rigorous approach has to be made in order to reach an incisive result.

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