A odd chemical on Venus suggests there might be extraterrestrial life

Phosphine is a colorless flammable and explosive gas compound composed of 1 Phosphorus and 3 Hydrogen molecules

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.

Astronomers have speculated for decades that high clouds on Venus could offer a home for microbes - floating free of the scorching surface, but still needing to tolerate very high acidity. They studied the origin of phosphine, but no inorganic processes, including supply from volcanos and atmospheric photochemistry can explain the detected amount of phosphine. On Earth, bacteria produce phosphine.

Phosphine is one of the most foul-smelling gases known to man, with the odour of rotting fish, it is often found in penguin dung and pond slime. They believe that the phosphine may have been produced by living microorganisms in a type of alien biosphere.

"If life can survive in that, then that might mean life is more common in the universe than we ever thought before".

Scientists spot potential sign of life in Venus atmosphere

Could there be life on Venus? Microbes on Earth can not survive that acidity.

"There are substantial conceptual problems for the idea of life in Venus's clouds - the environment is extremely dehydrating as well as hyperacidic", Greaves and her colleagues said. "On Earth, some microbes can cope with up to about five percent of acid in their environment - but the clouds of Venus are nearly entirely made of acid".

Hence, is why it can be greatly presumed as a biosignature or an indication of life. They found phosphine at levels ranging from five to 20 parts per billion - thousands of times more than what's in Earth's atmosphere.

'Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus' by Jane S. Greaves et al.is published in Nature Astronomy.



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