The discovery could be fundamental: the atmosphere of Venus could contain a form of life, says a team of Anglo-American scientists. During their research, they found phosphine in clouds, a rare gas present on Earth and emitted by living things. The deduction is all the more unexpected since Venus is particularly inhospitable: it is over 450 ° C on the surface and clouds of sulfuric acid stagnate in the atmosphere.
“If this holds true, we are probably dealing with unicellular organisms very different from what we can see on Earth. (…) It would be something difficult for us to identify”, explains Jane Greaves, a researcher at Cardiff University. For NASA, this is the most important event in the search for extraterrestrial life. However, some scientists question the link between phosphine and biological life. “I think it is phosphine, but indeed further investigations could invalidate this hypothesis”, tempers Thomas Widemann, astrophysicist. The research team will publish new publications in the coming weeks.
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