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Announcement on Monday?


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Reuters 14 Sep 11:00 ET / 11:00 GMT

SPACE-EXPLORATION/VENUS

Potential indicator of alien life detected on inhospitable Venus

Scientists have detected trace amounts of the gas phosphine in the clouds of Venus, a potential indicator of life on Earth's inhospitable neighbor because on our planet this molecule is produced by microbes that inhabit oxygen-free environments.

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1 hour ago, Macavity said:

I was kinda hoping it would remain a secret until the announcement.
But then scientists (everyone?) "leaking stuff" seems to be the norm. 😐

Twitter was brewing for days. It was leaked by earthsky.org,  Ycombinator hacker news was on it....everybody wants to be the first eh....

Edited by heliumstar
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5 hours ago, maw lod qan said:

I was worried someone happened to check with Galactic Planning and saw they were about to destroy the Earth to put in a roundabout to avoid the black hole in the center of the milkyway!

To be honest, news like that would remove a lot of the current anxiety about pandemics and politics and the environment.

In not saying it would be a good thing, but - you know, it would remove a lot of stress :)

 

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I am thinking back to the big announcement back in the 1990's. This was regarding the bacteria fossil photographed in the meteorite found in Antarctica which was said to be from Mars. Top scientists, NASA director and even President Clinton in on the act. But no nearer confirming the existence of or past existence of life anywhere else but Earth. Sorry but any announcement today will be  taken with seasoning.

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Well, the amount of phosphine found in the Venerian atmosphere cannot be explained by any known non-biological process. So either there are things going on in the extreme conditions on Venus we don't know of, or there's a biological process involved. I think that's interesting.

I've read that the oxidation of phosphor-containing iron can produce phosphine in an acidic environment, but the air pressure is way too high to get it from the surface into the atmosphere.

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That was interesting. One of the things that struck me was that we don't even know what biological processes cause the abundance of phosphine in the atmosphere on Earth. We're just fairly sure that it's some kind of biological mechanism at work.

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25 minutes ago, Waddensky said:

That was interesting. One of the things that struck me was that we don't even know what biological processes cause the abundance of phosphine in the atmosphere on Earth. We're just fairly sure that it's some kind of biological mechanism at work.

I don't think we (or they) are fairly sure. Their paper says :

"Even if confirmed, we emphasize that the detection of PH3 is not robust evidence for life, only for anomalous and unexplained chemistry. There are substantial conceptual problems for the idea of life in Venus’s clouds—the environment is extremely dehydrating as well as hyperacidic."

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Very interesting program.

Still not convinced myself than the spectroscopic signature for Phosphine from the is from a biological source, but it would be well worth investigating further to see if it is from some sort of abiotic origin. 

Either way the findings of future studies will give further insights in to one of are closests planetary neighbors.

 

Edited by reddoss
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