An worldwide team of astronomers including United Kingdom scientists from Manchester and Cardiff, today announced the discovery of a rare molecule - phosphine - in the clouds of Venus.
According to the Independent, biosignatures in the form of phosphine have been detected on Venus, suggesting that there could be life there. The global team, which includes researchers from Britain, the US and Japan, published their findings in two papers - the science journal Nature on Monday, and Astrobiology journal on Saturday.
The search for phosphine in Venus's atmosphere began in 2016 and included separate data collected from ground-based telescopes in Hawaii and Chile.
It's true, scientists at Cardiff University have discovered a rare molecule - phosphine - in the clouds of Venus.
Although the high clouds of Venus have temperatures up to a pleasant 30 degrees Celsius, they are incredibly acidic - around 90 per cent sulphuric acid - posing major issues for any microbes trying to survive there. "If this planet is active and is producing phosphine, and there is something that's making it in the Venus atmosphere, then by God almighty, forget this Mars nonsense", Byrne opined.
"Phosphine could originate from unknown photochemistry or geochemistry, or, by analogy with biological production of phosphine on Earth, from the presence of life", the study added. So, team members acknowledge that confirming the presence of "life" needs a lot more work.
The existence of any kind of life and survival of life is very hard due to the acidic and hot surface of Venus. The new discovery, led by Cardiff University and including Imperial College London researchers, is described today in a paper in Nature Astronomy. The discovery raises many questions, such as how any organisms could survive.
"Over the past two decades, we've made new discoveries that collectively imply a significant increase of the likelihood to find life elsewhere", NASA said in a statement after the surprising finding. Professor Sara Seager and Dr Janusz Petkowski, also both at MIT, are investigating how microbes could shield themselves inside droplets. "I mean, Venus is a place we do not associate with extraterrestrial life..."