Scientists detect possible sign of life on Venus

Astronomers announced on Monday they have detected a chemical called phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus, a discovery that points to potential life on the planet.

Scientists believe phosphine could only be present due to something living in Venus’ atmosphere, though others believe it could have been created by an undefined geologic process of some sort.

The “extraordinary discovery,” as MIT molecular astrophysicist Clara Sousa-Silva called it, will spark more in-depth research into whether Venus houses some sort of biosphere.

The discovery of phosphine could signal microbial organisms that create the chemical without requiring oxygen.

William Bains, a biochemist at MIT and a co-author of the study, said the researchers had managed to “rule out all other sources of phosphine other than life.”

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