Written by Shayani Das
Venus, the second planet from the Sun and also the second-brightest natural object in the night sky after the moon. It has shown promise of comprising a life harbouring gas. A dry planet with high surface temperature, no trace of water, and largely composed of clouds of carbon dioxide with a droplet of sulphuric acid, recently showed promise of the life harbouring gas when a team of professionals while observing Venus found out that Venus contains traces of phosphine gas.
What is Phosphine?
Phosphine is a flammable gas that often occurs from the breakdown of organic matter. It is a colorless and toxic gas. It has a highly unpleasant odor like garlic or rotting fish.
Lead author Jane Greaves from Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy told that the presence of phosphine alone is not only the proof of the presence of life on Venus.
Does the presence of Phosphine prove as the existence of life on Venus?
It should be noted that Venus has a dense atmosphere which is a hundred times thicker than Earth. There is no evidence of water and the temperature is hot enough to melt lead. Thus, the chance of containing this “life harbouring gas” may not be fruitful for living beings. In the same way, previous studies have revealed evidence of the existence of active volcanoes including signs of the recent lava flow.
To conclude, it can be said that the discovery of such a gas is not all in all proof for the further sustenance of life. Moreover,the above text shows us that the Venus does have certain characteristics that would be a curse to life. Therefore, excitement regarding the news maybe justified, but the fact that in depth research is required prior to arriving at a conclusion needs to be kept in mind.
For further information, you can read: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/09/possible-sign-of-life-found-on-venus-phosphine-gas/
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