The discovery of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Space
- Recently, phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus was discovered by an international team of astronomers.
- The discovery throws light about the possibility of the presence of life forms on Venus.
- A team of scientists have reported traces of phosphine in a concentration of approximately 20 parts per billion, thousands to millions of times more than what could otherwise be expected.
- The discovery is more significant than the discovery of water on the Moon or Mars.
- The finding can further ignite interest in space missions to Venus.
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is also planning a mission to Venus, tentatively called Shukrayaan, in the near future.
- The plan is still on the drawing board.
Do you know?
- There are several things that make life unsustainable on Venus.
- The temperature of Venus is too high.
- Its atmosphere is highly acidic.
- However, Scientists also suggest that this phosphine could be remnants from a time when Venus was a much more hospitable place.
- Apart from being produced in industrial processes, phosphine, a colourless but smelly gas, is known to be made only by some species of bacteria that survive in the absence of oxygen.