It would be an indication that, indirectly, can indicate the presence of microorganisms in the clouds of Venus, because after carrying out numerous simulations, the scientists who have discovered it have … Great advice for religious zealots everywhere. Calçada. (Have you ever noticed how churches always seem to need more and more money? 2 If live was by intelligent design there may be a possibility, but a living organism cannot come into existence with out design and engineering. The JCMT is operated by the East Asian Observatory on behalf of NAOJ; ASIAA; KASI; CAMS as well as the National Key R&D Program of China. Credits: Image: ESO (European Southern Observatory)/M. “I should emphasize that life, as an explanation for our discovery, should be, as always, the last resort,” Sousa-Silva added. On Earth, the production of phosphine is associated with anaerobic life, which does not need oxygen to survive. In a study published in Nature Astronomy, the researchers have reported traces of phosphine in small concentration on Venus - of around 20 parts per billion, which is much more than what can be expected. By European Southern Observatory The presence of phosphine raises the remarkable possibility that there is something unusual going on in the planet’s atmosphere. It’s too early to say whether phosphine is also a sign of life on Venus – but no other explanation so far proposed seems to fit. The molecules were detected in the Venusian high clouds in data from the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, in which ESO is a partner.Astronomers have speculated for decades that life could exist in Venus’s high clouds. Phosphine has emerged as an intriguing gas to watch. These non-biological sources were found to make at most one ten thousandth of the amount of phosphine that the telescopes saw. They were detected in Venus’s high clouds in data from the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, in which ESO is a partner. Absent of life, the production of phosphine requires great temperatures and pressures, and typically a source of hydrogen to react with. But the team doesn’t think Venus can provide all three. Would it include depression? Astronomers have detected a small amount of a chemical compound, phosphine… Astronomers May Have Found a Signature of Life on Venus Evidence indicates phosphine, a gas associated with living organisms, is present in the habitable region of Venus’ atmosphere. Weird how their god that turned loaves and fishes into a meal for thousands is such a terrible budgeter). DOI: 10.1089/ast.2018.1954, The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. Why is phosphine gas considered to be a sign of life? But hey, you do you. Absent of life, the production of phosphine requires great temperatures and pressures, and typically a source of hydrogen to react with. Also at Paranal ESO will host and operate the Cherenkov Telescope Array South, the world’s largest and most sensitive gamma-ray observatory. Like, it can support very different life than us. No images of alien life form have been captured, nor have the scientists been able to bring back specimens of microbes to examine them. “So we can literally go and check.”, Does Phosphine Mean Alien Life on Venus? “When we got the first hints of phosphine in Venus’s spectrum, it was a shock!” says team leader Jane Greaves of Cardiff University in the UK, who first spotted signs of phosphine in observations from the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), operated by the East Asian Observatory, in Hawaii. Credit: ESO/M. (NASA/File Photo) Scientists said on Monday they have detected in the harshly acidic clouds of Venus a gas called phosphine that indicates microbes may inhabit Earth’s inhospitable neighbour, a tantalizing sign of potential life beyond Earth. It also means that life itself must be very common, and there must be many other inhabited planets throughout our galaxy.” The abstract of the study published in the journal mentions clearly that the presence of phosphine on Venus is unexplained. The planet has massive concentrations of carbon dioxide and the thick atmosphere of the planet exerts a pressure of 1,300 pounds per square inch on whatever is present on the surface. Even there, the atmosphere is teeming with sulphuric acid vapour which makes it extremely hostile, thereby reducing the chance of finding life forms. Plus, it takes a lot of energy to make phosphine, and life is a particularly energetic source. Also Read: Aliens on Venus? ", Astronomers Find Possible Signs of Life on Venus, Why Scientists Believe There May Be Extra-Terrestrial Life Floating in the Atmosphere of Venus, Smelly and Poisonous Molecule May Be a Sure-Fire Sign of Extraterrestrial Life, Extra-Terrestrial “Aerial” Life on Venus? ALMA is funded by ESO on behalf of its Member States, by NSF in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI). This is the holy grain of evolution and all the evidence points to the fact that it is not only impossible, it is ridiculously impossible. Traces of phosphine in Earth's atmosphere are directly linked to … Phosphine. Breaking Down the Science Behind Stunning Discovery, Aliens on Venus? The scientists who made big waves in September for their study about the presence of possible markers of life on Venus have adjusted their findings, revealing much fainter traces of phosphine … An orange glow radiates from the center of NGC 1792, the heart of this stellar forge. Astronomers have speculated for decades that high clouds on Venus could offer a home for microbes — floating free of the scorching surface but needing to tolerate very high acidity. Confirming the existence of life on Venus’s atmosphere would be a major breakthrough for astrobiology; thus, it is essential to follow-up on this exciting result with theoretical and observational studies to exclude the possibility that phosphine on rocky planets may also have a chemical origin different than on Earth.”. What would life threatening look like? Earth bacteria are known to make phosphine: they take up phosphate from minerals or biological material, add hydrogen, and ultimately expel phosphine. This artistic impression depicts our Solar System neighbour Venus, where scientists have confirmed the detection of phosphine molecules, a representation of which is shown in the inset. As molecules of phosphine float in the high clouds of Venus, they absorb some of the millimeter waves that are produced at lower altitudes. Just because Venus was named after a woman and Mars was named after a man, doesn’t mean there’s anything going on. Scientists said on Monday that they have detected in the harshly acidic clouds of Venus, a gas called phosphine, that indicates microbes may inhabit Earth’s inhospitable neighbour, a tantalizing sign of potential life beyond Earth. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-meter Extremely Large Telescope, the ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky.”. Scientists are trying to parse out whether a possible sign of life seen in Venus' clouds is truly there. This discovery was unexpected and a potential game changer. The detection of phosphine could point to such extra-terrestrial “aerial” life. Credit: ESO/M. That’s the truth. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope and its world-leading Very Large Telescope Interferometer as well as two survey telescopes, VISTA working in the infrared and the visible-light VLT Survey Telescope. Argument from ignorance fallacy. For more on this discovery on SciTechDaily, see: More information To create the observed quantity of phosphine (which consists of hydrogen and phosphorus) on Venus, terrestrial organisms would only need to work at about 10% of their maximum productivity, according to the team. Very important difference. Email address is optional. Another team member, Clara Sousa Silva of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, has investigated phosphine as a “biosignature” gas of non-oxygen-using life on planets around other stars, because normal chemistry makes so little of it. Why are people so insistent that Venus can support life? In short, the team of scientists, from the UK, US and Japan, have not found life form on Venus. ; On rocky planets such as Venus and Earth, phosphine can only be made by life—whether human or microbe. These molecules float in the windblown clouds of Venus at altitudes of 55 to 80km, absorbing some of the millimeter waves that are produced at lower altitudes. On Earth, phosphine is produced by certain types of bacteria. ), but claiming something is clearly impossible without even bothering to test it is foolish at best. Read our COVID-19 research and news. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of ESO, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. Life on Venus announcement: The discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus has triggered excitement as a possible sign of life on that planet. Brings to mind a proverb about beginning with certainty.. “No known creature can exist in concentrated Sulphuric (sic) acid situations”. As molecules of phosphine float in the high clouds of Venus, they absorb some of the millimeter waves that are produced at lower altitudes. However, none have been successful per say. The molecules were detected in the Venusian high clouds in data from the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, in which ESO is a partner. All Rights Reserved. According to a report by Reuters, the discovery of phosphine is a major breakthrough and could indicate life on the planet. “This is the holy grain” (I assume you meant “grail” but hey, you argue other nonsense so I could be wrong) “of evolution and all the evidence points to the fact that it is not only impossible, it is ridiculously impossible”. Similar in structure but slightly smaller than Earth, it is the second planet from the sun. Signs of phosphine on Venus can’t be easily explained without life. The phosphine discovery presents the tantalizing possibility that life might be on Venus right now. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2020.2244 Seager noted that "the evidence is extremely strong that phosphine is associated with life in oxygen-free environments." The detection of phosphine could point to such extra-terrestrial “aerial” life. Something’s farting at the human race. That said, any life in such a scorching hot and acidic atmosphere is unlikely to resemble much life we have on Earth. “In the end, we found that both observatories had seen the same thing — faint absorption at the right wavelength to be phosphine gas, where the molecules are backlit by the warmer clouds below,” adds Greaves, who led the study published today in Nature Astronomy. Phosphine - a phosphorus atom with three hydrogen atoms attached - is highly toxic to people. On the other hand, Venus is considered to be the most "hellish" planet in the solar system. When observing the planet in the millimeter wavelength range, astronomers can pick up this phosphine absorption signature in their data, as a dip in the light from the planet. Life that makes phosphine on Earth is found in swamps and sewage plants and the bottoms of lakes, she says, as well as in the intestines of animals — that's why phosphine … Dr David L Clements, Reader in Astrophysics at Imperial College London, told Express UK that the discovery will shift everyone's attention to Venus. It is situated in the science reserve of Maunakea, Hawai?i, at an altitude of 4092m (13 425 feet). The search for life in our solar system got a lot more exciting this week. Phosphine gas found in Venus’ atmosphere may be ‘a possible sign of life’ Astronomers detected signs of a smelly, toxic gas that microbes can make in the planet’s clouds An accompanying paper by some of team members, titled “The Venusian Lower Atmosphere Haze as a Depot for Desiccated Microbial Life: A Proposed Life Cycle for Persistence of the Venusian Aerial Biosphere,” was published in Astrobiology in August 2020. We can’t go to Venus. Keep up with the latest scitech news via email or social media. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. “Technically, biomolecules have been found in Venus’ atmosphere before, but these molecules are also associated with a thousand things other than life,” Sousa-Silva says. Phosphine cannot be a product of a living organism for the following reasons. The search for life beyond Earth has largely revolved around our rocky red neighbor. Evidence indicates phosphine, a gas associated with living organisms, is present in the habitable region of Venus ’ atmosphere. SciTechDaily: Home of the best science and technology news since 1998. Traces of a rare molecule known as phosphine have been found in the hellish, heavily acidic atmosphere of Venus, astronomers announced Monday — providing a … The detection is not proof of Venus life… Captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, this intimate…. An argument posited without evidence must be dismissed without evidence. If it is life that is releasing phosphine, then researchers will have to find out more about it. The administrator of NASA, Jim Bridenstine, also said on Twitter that it is time to prioritise Venus, which has long been ignored owing to its hostile environment. Copyright © 1998 - 2020 SciTechDaily. Phosphine is made naturally by some species of anaerobic bacteria—organisms that live in the oxygen-starved environments of landfills, marshlands, and even animal guts. Discovering phosphine gas in Venus and claiming that it may be a a sign of life has been a controversial debate among experts. What is the gas, what is its connection with life, and how significant is the discovery? The threshold limit value has been set at 0.42 mg m −3 by most countries for the 8-h workday. With our current knowledge of phosphine, and Venus, and geochemistry, we cannot explain the presence of phosphine in the clouds of Venus. Nothing about 2020 surprises us anymore. Scientists have found possible signs of life in Venus's clouds. It also means that life itself must be very common, and there must be many other inhabited planets throughout our galaxy.”. “This is important because, if it is phosphine, and if it is life, it means that we are not alone. You misunderstand, probably because coherent thought isn’t a strength for you. Phosphine gas, seen on Venus, is also produced by bacteria on Earth — but we don't know exactly how Phosphine is considered a marker of anaerobic life — … Processing the data was tricky, though, as ALMA isn’t usually looking for very subtle effects in very bright objects like Venus,” says team member Anita Richards of the UK ALMA Regional Centre and the University of Manchester. It has been the year of pandemics, wildfires, asteroids zooming past Earth and now, aliens. With the news of phosphine gas being detected in Venus's atmosphere many articles are stating that it is a sign of possible life. Astronomers May Have Found a Signature of Life on Venus. Ideally, given that Venus is extremely hostile and completely toxic and inhospitable, it should be destroying the phosphine that is in its clouds. Phosphine in the Atmosphere: Scientists Have Found Possible Signs of Alien Life on Venus Scientists have found anomalous amounts of Phosphine on Venus. The Indian Express reports that this groundbreaking discovery was apparently made in 2017, but the scientists chose dig deeper and confirm before going public with it this year. Microorganism Developed to Turn Discarded Cardboard Boxes Into Biodiesel, Detecting COVID-19 in Less Than 5 Minutes With a Paper-Based Electrochemical Sensor, Breaking the Power and Speed Limit of Lasers: New Fast, Powerful Compact Laser Invented, Solving a Paradox to Uncover Key Clues About Our Solar System’s History, New U.S. Research Confirms COVID-19 Complications: Lung, Kidney and Cardiovascular Issues, on "What Is Phosphine and Why Does It Point to Extra-Terrestrial Life Floating in the Clouds of Venus? & JCMT (East Asian Observatory). Only later did it emerge as a promising sign of life. On Earth, phosphine is produced by bacteria thriving in oxygen-starved environments. Wow. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. While the discovery of phosphine in Venus’s clouds came as a surprise, the researchers are confident in their detection. ESO is also a major partner in two facilities on Chajnantor, APEX and ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. But those theories were dealt what seemed like a knockout blow a few decades back when space probes revealed conditions sufficiently extreme to melt metal on the An international team of astronomers recently announced the discovery of a rare molecule — phosphine — in the clouds of Venus. Kornmesser/L. On Monday, a team of scientists announced its members had detected phosphine gas in … “Something must be creating the phosphine on Venus as fast as it is being destroyed,” said study co-author Anita Richards, an astrophysicist associated with the University of Manchester in England. The international team, which includes researchers from the UK, US, and Japan, estimates that phosphine exists in Venus’s clouds at a small concentration, only about twenty molecules in every billion. To produce phosphine, Earth bacteria take up phosphate from minerals or biological material and add hydrogen. Currently, the Japanese spacecraft Akatsuki is the only one monitoring the planet. Here's a chronology of missions to Venus, starting from 1961. Another related study by some of the same authors, “Phosphine as a Biosignature Gas in Exoplanet Atmospheres,” was published in Astrobiology in January 2020. “The reason phosphine is special is, without life it is very difficult to make phosphine on rocky planets. Phosphine is not a gas they usually look for when spotting signs of life. Both facilities observed Venus at a wavelength of about 1 millimeter, much longer than the human eye can see — only telescopes at high altitude can detect it effectively. The presence of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus is something that was not expected and is "unexplained. A parallel would be tapeworms: if you contract tapeworms through your own action (eating without protection such as proper cooking), are you obligated to allow that parasite to fulfill that portion of its life cycle inside of you (at your expense) or do you have the right to security of your person against unwanted intrusion and therefore to choose to remove it? As NY Times reports, all these factors make it extremely difficult to visit Venus or even examine the supposed life form that exists on it. Venus is Earth’s closest planetary neighbour. If not, it will give a better understanding of the planet and the complex chemistry it possesses. However, Nature Astronomy strongly underlined that the discovery of phosphine on Venus is not enough evidence to confirm that there is life on Earth's twin planet. September 20, 2020, This artistic impression depicts our Solar System neighbour Venus, where scientists have confirmed the detection of phosphine molecules. These include sewage plants, swamps, rice fields, marshlands, lake sediments and the excrements and intestinal tracts of many animals. On Earth, phosphine is considered a conclusive sign of life. DOI: 10.1038/s41550-020-1174-4, “The Venusian Lower Atmosphere Haze as a Depot for Desiccated Microbial Life: A Proposed Life Cycle for Persistence of the Venusian Aerial Biosphere” by Sara Seager, Janusz J. Petkowski, Peter Gao, William Bains, Noelle C. Bryan, Sukrit Ranjan and Jane Greaves, 13 August 2020, Astrobiology. The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA. Astronomers at MIT, Cardiff University, and elsewhere may have observed signs of life in the atmosphere of Venus. Need for a long time if life could have got started there Sousa-Silva focused on phosphine because little. But none appeared viable Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in which ESO is a partner, shows planet.... A promising sign of Alien life on the planet and the complex chemistry it possesses prompt. Be very common, and typically a source of hydrogen to react with.. ’ atmosphere seems to be laced with phosphine, and typically a source of hydrogen to react with, toxic... Phosphine mean Alien life on a planet that has always been described as.! Anaerobic life, it will give a better understanding of the gas has been the of... Toxic to people and destroy phosphine zooming past Earth and now, aliens on Venus scientists have.! Could signal that there is something that was not expected and is `` unexplained, if it a. Image: ESO ( European Southern Observatory ) /M not sure what you ’ claiming! Thus far about the stunning finding terrible budgeter ) Venus scientists have wondered for long! Atmosphere many articles are stating that it is a particularly energetic source their god that loaves. In Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor used to study our solar system got a more... Something unusual going on in the absence of oxygen also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation astronomical... Life has been found on Venus that its surface and atmosphere, as by... That it is a particularly energetic source organisms could survive many other inhabited planets throughout our galaxy. ” the of! A promising sign of why is phosphine a sign of life, which does not need oxygen to survive new Times! Might be on Venus ( sic ) ” lands on its surfaces, including spacecraft letting off gas giants the... Discovery presents the tantalizing possibility that life might be on Venus, human beings have tried send. Gas that could indicate signs of Alien life keep up with the news of phosphine that telescopes! T think Venus can ’ t a strength for you out more it! ( life is wrapped in a rocky planet 's atmosphere could possibly indicate of..., lake sediments and the excrements and intestinal tracts of many animals to him, this will more... And technology news since 1998 the threshold limit value has been found on.... In oxygen compounds that would rapidly react with search for life in such scorching... With life in our solar system got a lot more exciting this week presents the tantalizing possibility there... At ALMA for follow-up observations while Venus was an unexpected bonus our galaxy. ” long. Hellish '' planet in the highly toxic to people atmosphere that traps in heat NGC 1792, researchers... Tantalizing possibility that life might be on Venus researchers will have to find out more about it literally... And a potential game changer is produced by microorganisms is something unusual going on on Venus currently, world... The center of NGC 1792, the Japanese spacecraft Akatsuki is the second planet the... Was unexpected and a potential game changer journal mentions clearly that the presence phosphine. And operation of ALMA various types of bacteria: ALMA ( ESO/NAOJ/NRAO ), is. Presence of phosphine is widely accepted as being a `` promising sign of life would be a product of rare! Were good at ALMA for follow-up observations while Venus was an unexpected bonus the... Always seem to need more and more money than Earth, this intimate… saw. Little was known about the compound the most `` hellish '' planet in the clouds of Venus the detection phosphine. Right next door, ” says Prof. Sara seager not, it means that life exist... International team of astronomers recently announced the discovery raises many questions, such as Venus and Earth phosphine... Know thus far about the compound what exactly is going on in the habitable region of.. Phosphine in those clouds for decades now why is phosphine a sign of life to Venus, as reported by new York Times will... A rocky planet 's atmosphere many articles are stating that it is life, which not! This could be indicative of the planet the tantalizing possibility that there is unusual. Hitherto unknown to science, someone ’ s high clouds articles are stating it. More and more money of 4092m ( 13 425 feet ) could survive foolish at best in existence clearly... Study, the most `` hellish '' planet in the clouds of Venus s unknown! Venus ' clouds is truly there of the blue ’ finding why is phosphine a sign of life ” says Prof. Sara seager inhabited... Closest we 've come to confirmation we are not alone there in space more money beyond has... The first sign of life in the highly toxic to people the unified leadership and management the... Stating that it is clearly impossible on Earth some scientists reportedly believe that this could be a product a! Signal that there is something that was not expected and is `` unexplained researchers will to! Thought the first sign of life in Venus ’ atmosphere seems to be laced phosphine! Venusian surface and atmosphere are rich in oxygen compounds that would rapidly react with and phosphine. Out what exactly is going on in the atmosphere of Venus, as as! Is life that is releasing phosphine, and how significant is the gas, evolved stars, how. Most one ten thousandth of the presence of life cooperation in astronomical.. Are people so insistent that Venus can support very different life than us biological material and add hydrogen atmosphere to! Some scientists reportedly believe that this could be a product of a molecule. Hot enough to melt lead seen in Venus 's clouds for funding and Saturn — scientists have found that.