Scientists have made an extraordinary discovery. The latest discovery is related to the signs of potential life in Earth’s neighborhood. Scientists have discovered presence of signs supporting life on Venus. Venus comes after Mercury and prior to Earth. It is second closest planet to Sun. Scientists have claimed to detect phosphine in Venus’ atmosphere. Phosphine is a smelly and flammable gas. Venus’ atmosphere is very harsh. The planet is described as inhospitable because of its extreme temperatures and unfavorable atmospheric make-up. It is filled with acidic clouds. These conditions make it a lesser significant celestial body in the universe for scientists to search for life. But the presence of phosphine in Venus atmosphere hints that microbes may inhabit.
The signs of phosphine were first spotted by Jane Greaves of Cardiff University. Jane used the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope to observe the Venus atmosphere and spotted phosphine. Jane and other scientists initially doubted the telescope’s data. The findings were then confirmed again using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile. Scientists concluded that phosphine exists in the planet’s clouds, but at a very small concentration. It was observed at 20 parts per billion. The latest discovery is an indication that alien life might be possible on the planet even as its atmosphere is inhabitable. Venus’ atmosphere mostly consists of carbon dioxide. The clouds are full of sulfuric acid which makes surviving impossible.
Phosphine is produced in industrial processes. It is also made by some species of bacteria that can survive in the absence of oxygen. It is highly toxic to humans. Past studies said that Venus’ thick atmosphere traps the Sun’s heat. This results in an immense increase in the surface temperature. It goes beyond 470 degrees Celsius. The planet has been therefore always described as inhospitable by scientists. Venus is similar to Earth’s structure. But it is slightly smaller than Earth’s size. The discovery was originally made in 2017. But scientists kept it a secret and re-checked their data. It was made public after reestablishing the fact.