No doubt everyone reading this today has heard about the amazing discovery of phosphine in Venus’s clouds. It’s a chemical compound that can be made through industrial processes or via biological processes. Short of finding some kind of smog-filled industrial capital on the planet, it may be that some form of alien life is involved at Venus.
This artistic impression depicts Venus. Astronomers at MIT, Cardiff University, and elsewhere may have observed signs of life in the atmosphere of Venus.Image courtesy: ESO (European Space Organization)/M. Kornmesser & NASA/JPL/Caltech
BUT, and I want to stress this strongly, the presence is phosphine at Venus is not YET proof of alien life there. It’s a very strong signature. The scientists involved in the discovery have exhausted every avenue of study to figure out what’s producing phosphine there that isn’t a form of life. So, like good scientists, they have announced their findings and now await confirmation by other scientists of their conclusions.
As Dr. Clara Sousa-Silva of MIT said (and she’s studied phosphine for years), “It’s very hard to prove a negative. Now, astronomers will think of all the ways to justify phosphine without life, and I welcome that. Please do, ...