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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Quixplained: What discovery of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus means

An international team of researchers have detected traces of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus. What does this mean? Why is this discovery significant?

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 20, 2020 10:25:03 am
venus, life on venus, phosphine gas venus, venus news, venus life forms, venus extra terrestrial life, indian expressLife on Venus? Here's why the latest discovery by astronomers has triggered excitement.

Is there life on Venus? The idea was triggered recently after astronomers announced the discovery of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of the planet. Phosphine, a colourless but smelly gas, is known to be made only by some species of bacteria that survive in the absence of oxygen.

The international team of scientists reported traces of phosphine in concentration of approximately 20 parts per billion, thousands to millions of times more than what could otherwise be expected. Their findings were published in Nature Astronomy.

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