Is there life on Venus? Report confirms more phosphine

(NewsNation) — Astronomers have once again found a potential signal of life in the clouds of Venus.

The controversial observation of molecules of phosphine was first reported in 2020. Phosphine, comprised of hydrogen and phosphorus, is a gas on Earth that is only associated with life.

Three years later, “extensive additional detections” of the molecules were presented at the National Astronomy Meeting 2023 at Cardiff University in Wales, UK, according to a Forbes report.

The discovery was observed through the James Clark Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii.

JCMT’s latest detections of phosphine are “significant because they hugely extend the scope of the initial study,” according to the Forbes report.

“We now have five detections over the last few years, from three different sets of instruments, and from many methods of processing the data,” said Professor Jane Greaves, an astrobiologist at the School of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University, in an interview cited in Forbes. “We’re getting a clue here that there is some steady source, which is the point of legacy surveys — to show whether that’s true or not,” said Greaves.


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