|Could life exist on Venus? That is the astronomical question right now. In a study published just this week, scientists detected traces of phosphine in Venus’ atmosphere. Phosphine, or PH3, is a toxic gas that is understood to be a sign of decaying biological matter. Though the amount of PH3 is low, it is significant enough to spark curiosity – and skepticism. Millions of years ago, conditions on Venus may have been considered habitable. But in the recent millions of years of extreme rising surface temperatures, the hottest planet in our solar system has been cast out of the running for potential habitability – until now.|
While life on Venus has not been proven and scientists are still looking at other possible explanations, the discovery is exciting enough to keep investigating. “It is intriguing that it may point to something strange going on in the atmosphere of Venus, but is it exotic chemistry, or is it life?” says Sanjay Limaye, a planetary scientist. “We need to go explore and find out.” Click the links below start exploring!