POTENTIAL SIGN OF ALIEN LIFE DETECTED ON INHOSPITABLE VENUS
Scientists said they have detected in the harshly acidic clouds of Venus a gas called phosphine that indicates microbes may inhabit Earth’s inhospitable neighbor, a tantalizing sign of potential life beyond Earth.
The researchers did not discover actual life forms but noted that on Earth, phosphine is produced by bacteria thriving in oxygen-starved environments.
The international scientific team first spotted the phosphine using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii and confirmed it using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope in Chile.
The existence of extraterrestrial life long has been one of the paramount questions of science.
Scientists have used probes and telescopes to seek “biosignatures” – indirect signs of life – on other planets and moons in our solar system and beyond.
Venus has not been the focus of the search for life elsewhere in the solar system, with Mars and other worlds getting more attention.
Phosphine – a phosphorus atom with three hydrogen atoms attached – is highly toxic to people.