In Clouds on Venus, New Potential for Microbial Life
A small amount of a certain stinky gas in Venus’ clouds has astronomers abuzz. In a paper published today in Nature Astronomy, astronomer Jane Greaves of Cardiff University and her team have announced that they detected a small amount of phosphine high in Venus’ cloudy atmosphere.
On Earth, phosphine is produced by bacteria in oxygen-starved environments such as swamps or wetlands. As Ashley Strickland notes for CNN, it’s also known for its overpowering odor, which has been compared to rotting fish or garlic.