A team of scientists led by Dr. Jane Graeves of Cardiff University in the United Kingdom just announced the discovery of phosphine in the clouds of Venus.
The team considered processes on Venus, such as volcanoes or sunlight, to explain the presence of phosphine... 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. This thinking has partly lead to speculation about the possibility of microbes migrating or developing in the clouds of the planet as "aerial' life where temperatures are much more Earth-like, albeit very acidic".
Artist's impression of Venus and the phosphine (PH3) detected in the atmosphere.
Another member of the team, Massachusetts Institute of Technology molecular astrophysicist Clara Sousa Silva, has investigated phosphine as a "biosignature" gas of non-oxygen-using life on planets around other stars.
She comments: "Finding phosphine on Venus was an unexpected bonus!" With Elon Musk and others trying to find ways for us to live on the red planet, it's best to make sure that we aren't confronted with surprise hostile and unknown entities when we get there.
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A new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy is revealing the exciting news.
For planetary science enthusiasts, of course, the idea of looking for life or even a new home for humans in the clouds of Venus isn't new.
A gas found on Earth that might indicate life has been detected in the clouds of Venus created a lot of buzz on the internet.
"If life can survive in that, then that might mean life is more common in the universe than we ever thought before".
Top image: Image of Venus, observed in the 365nm waveband by the Venus Ultraviolet Imager (UVI) on board the Akatsuki probe.