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The discovery of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus 

  • IASbaba
  • September 16, 2020
  • 0
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The discovery of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Space

In news

  • 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.

Key takeaways

  • 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.

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