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A gas found on Earth that signifies life has been detected in the clouds on Venus

September 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Phosphine, a stinky, toxic and flammable gas found on Earth, has been detected in the atmosphere of Venus. On Earth, this gas signifies life. On Venus, it could suggest the presence of aerial life -- but it's not likely.

(CNN)A gas on Earth has also been detected in the atmosphere of Venus.

"Something completely unexpected and highly intriguing is happening on Venus to produce the unexpected presence of tiny amounts of phosphine gas," said Sara Seager, study coauthor and astrophysicist and planetary scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an email.

"Phosphine on Earth doesn't exist outside of life's production because, like on Venus, Earth's environment is so very not favorable for phosphine production," Seager said.

The research team will continue its search for the origin of the phosphine gas detected on Venus, as well as look for other unexpected gases in its atmosphere.

"Our hoped-for impact in the planetary science community is to stimulate more research on Venus itself, research on the possibilities of life in Venus' atmosphere, and even space missions focused to find signs of life or even life itself in the Venusian atmosphere," Seager said.

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