Author Topic: Phosphine detected in Venus's atmosphere  (Read 123 times)

Offline luisc99 (OP)

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Phosphine detected in Venus's atmosphere
« on: 14 September 2020, 06:51:52 PM »
So, this is odd...

A paper was published today detailing the discovery of phosphine gas in clouds in the atmosphere of Venus. Phosphine is a gas which is produced by bacterial life on Earth, and its presence elsewhere may be a strong indicator of biological activity. The team behind the discovery claim any other known method of producing phosphine in the clouds would only produce about 0.01% of the amount they detected.

Their observations were detected by two independent telescope arrays, many months apart. Here on Earth, phosphine has a lifetime of a few hours, and while thought to be higher on Venus, the short lifetime indicates there is a continuous production of phosphine.

Their data also indicates that the gas is only found at certain latitudes, which correspond to where we would expect a biological source to survive. However, the clouds in which it was detected are comprised of sulphuric acid, which means if the source of this gas is a result of life, it is either life which has significantly different biochemistry to anything we know, or bacteria which has developed a shield against one of the strongest acids there are.

Alternatively, this is being produced by a (non-biological) chemical reaction which is something we've never seen before. Phosphine is naturally produced in Jupiter and Saturn, but those conditions cannot exist on Venus. If this is chemistry, it's new chemistry.

Link to the paper published: https://rdcu.be/b7bDS
Link to a BBC News article on the subject: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54133538

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: 14 September 2020, 07:15:36 PM by luisc99 »
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Offline gerrit70

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Re: Phosphine detected in Venus's atmosphere
« Reply #1 on: 14 September 2020, 07:30:23 PM »
Arousing, even if it is discovered that life isnt the source of the anomaly we'll get some more public interest and hopefully more funding to study Venus; win-win all around.
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Offline Naomi

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Re: Phosphine detected in Venus's atmosphere
« Reply #2 on: 14 September 2020, 10:22:45 PM »
I for one don't know as much about Venus, it's a lot of gasses right?

Regardless if there is life it would be interesting how it is biologically different since it exists in a completely different environment.
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Offline luisc99 (OP)

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Re: Phosphine detected in Venus's atmosphere
« Reply #3 on: 15 September 2020, 08:46:24 AM »
I for one don't know as much about Venus, it's a lot of gasses right?

Yeah, it's a rocky planet like ours, but with a runaway greenhouse effect (atmosphere is ~96% CO2). The surface has really high pressure (>90 times Earth's) and temperature (464C / 867F), but about 50km up in the clouds the environment is similar to the surface of Earth, except with a whole load of sulphuric acid. The atmosphere as a whole though is really dense.

Some probes have been sent in the 60s onwards, with a handful landing. The longest (Venera 13) survived 127 minutes, with some being destroyed before they even got to the surface. As with many of the probes sent, it managed to get some photos, as well as an audio recording of the wind, which is really weird to listen to.



Arousing, even if it is discovered that life isnt the source of the anomaly we'll get some more public interest and hopefully more funding to study Venus; win-win all around.
Definitely. Even if it's proven this isn't life, it'll hopefully result in some more missions to Venus, which will be great news.
"Damn Luis is fuckin good" ~ airborne101st45 - 2018-02-12

"You are god. Or Lucifer, your choice" ~ Akomine - 2017-09-06

"if people were making gay lists then you'd be the first one up there, followed by a black drag queen called queen sheniqua" ~ Lividup64 - 2017-07-08

"Luis da man, confirmed." ~ Akomine - 2017-04-21

"ta" ~ Lividup64 - 2017-03-11

"Hi, we still trust and love luisc99, he is a good pal and I'd let him take my girlfriend out to a romantic dinner" ~ airborne101st45 - 2017-03-04

"We aren't no one. We are gods" ~ Akomine - 2016-08-13

"Shut up you self-interested, entitled chode, criticizing luis's scheduling. He tries to accommodate people. Fuck your optional saturday lunch you fat fuck. fuck you" ~ Akomine - 2016-02-13

"THAT'S RIGHT! I GOT IT! I'LL HACK THE OZONE LAYER!" ~ Lividup64 - 2015-10-26

"THAT'S RIGHT! I GOT IT! I'LL HACK GREENHOUSES!" ~ catty610 - 2015-10-23

"It's an electric field" ~ ChaosMushrooms - 2015-06-29

"A blade of grass is a commonplace on Earth; it would be a miracle on Mars. Our descendants on Mars will know the value of a patch of green. And if a blade of grass is priceless, what is the value of a human being?" ~ Carl Sagan - 1994

Offline Akomine

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Re: Phosphine detected in Venus's atmosphere
« Reply #4 on: 15 September 2020, 11:16:17 AM »
It has been hypothesized for some time now that Venus may have life in its atmosphere, and this paper makes that idea even more viable and interesting. This is cool as hell. Thanks so much for sharing this.


Here's the sounds of Venus if anyone is interested:


00:33 - Landing

00:41 - Camera lens cap being ejected off

01:00 - 02:09 - Drilling

02:14 - The drill system had a special series of tubes that used Venus' surface pressure to operate the mechanism for retrieving the soil sample, this is the seals being popped off to allow the pressure to rush in.

02:40 - Soil being injected into chamber

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