Life on Venus ?: phosphine "most important event" in the search for extraterrestrial life

Steph Deschamps / September 15, 2020

 

The discovery in the cloud layers of Venus of a gas possibly signaling life, phosphine, was celebrated Monday by the boss of the US space agency, who said he now wants to give priority to the study of this planet, abandoned in favor of Mars.

 

The discovery in the cloud layers of Venus of a gas possibly signaling life, phosphine, was celebrated Monday by the boss of the US space agency, who said he now wants to give priority to the study of this planet, abandoned in favor of Mars.

 

Of life on Venus? The discovery of phosphine, a by-product of anaerobic biology, is the most significant event to date in the search for life outside Earth, ”tweeted NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, reacting to the earlier publication. Monday of a study on the discovery by the journal Nature Astronomy.

 

Venus, particularly hostile because it has an average surface temperature of 470ºC, was explored as early as the 1960s but was quickly considered to be less scientifically interesting than Mars and outside the solar system. Several probes and robots are currently en route to the Red Planet, but no missions specifically dedicated to Venus are underway.

 

But scientists have been advocating for a few years a return to Venus, the brightest star in our night sky after the Moon, and several new missions have been proposed, NASA considering several.

 

Credit : Sudinfo

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