Scientists detect potential signs of extraterrestrial life on Venus

Scientists detect potential signs of extraterrestrial life on Venus

Scientists revealed on September 14, 2020 that they have detected potential signs on life on the inhospitable Venus. The scientists have detected a gas called phosphine in the acidic clouds of Venus that indicates microbes may inhabit Earth’s neighbor.

Though the researchers did not discover actual life forms, this discovery raises hopes of potential life beyond Earth. The researchers noted that phosphine is produced by bacteria thriving in oxygen-starved environments on the Earth. 

The presence of Phosphine was first spotted in Venus clouds by an international scientific team using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii. The researchers later confirmed the discovery using the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) radio telescope in Chile.

The study was published in the scientific journal - Nature Astronomy. The lead author of the study, astronomer Jane Greaves from Cardiff University said, "I was very surprised - stunned, in fact.”

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted saying that the discovery of phosphine is the most significant development yet in building the case for life off Earth.” He further added that it is time to prioritize Venus.