Tuesday 15 September 2020


Researchers—with due restraint and caution—have made the announcement that the concentration of the toxic gas phosphine (phosphane, PH3) in the Venusian atmosphere, which should not be present at the levels they have detected in accordance with known chemical and geologic reactions, consistent with the presence of anaerobic bacterial life suspended (see also) at a tolerable zone within the thick atmosphere. There’s a selection of nice primers and more details of the unexpected finding at Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy at the link up top.