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Life, don't talk to me about life

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Life, don't talk to me about life

Thee seems to be a lot of speculation that signs of life may have been discovered in the Venusian atmosphere, on the grounds that it is very hard to explain the presence of phosphine otherwise.

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Phosphine

The website Earthsky seems to have broke the story early then removed it however the google cache still has it. Well done Cardiff who toook the lead on this research 

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:dUWrpm80WHsJ:https://earthsky.org/%3Fp%3D343883+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

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As a matter of fact this idea

As a matter of fact this idea is not new. In the late 1970s (or perhaps very early eighties) C.Boyer, the French astronomer who discovered the 4 Day rotation of the atmosphere of Venus, published a paper in l'Astronomie mentioning that certain changes in velocity of markings during the course of the Venusian day could be due to the greater activity of life forms in the clouds.

Of course at cloud top level temperature and pressure are quite modest and carbon dioxide still plentiful...... Camille Flammarion would have been keen on this idea, being a great promoter of the concept of Universal life, originally stated by Fontenelle.

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Phosphine
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The Nature Astronomy paper

The Nature Astronomy paper has just been made available as open access.

dgs
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Way back in 1963 the late

Way back in 1963 the late Donald Barber the last professional astronomer at NLO believed there was life in the Venusian atmosphere. By his observations of bacterial growth on his photographic plates which coincided with inferior conjunctions of Venus he deduced these organisms had been blown to us by the solar wind. He even sent the bacteria away for analysis, which were unable to be identified! Article here:

http://shadetreephysics.com/Barber%201963.htm

David

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Venus

BBC4 tonight at 10:30 Sky At Night life on Venus 

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Although the Nature Astronomy

Although the Nature Astronomy website has the paper available to read, I find it's a bit difficult to follow on the screen and wanted to print it. The pdf link they gave only downloads the first page and then freezes. However, I note the full 54 pages are available on ArXiv today for anyone who is interested.

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Downloading the Paper

Jeremy What you need to do is instead of left clicking on the download PDF link which downloads it to your web browser. Right Click and select Save  Link and save it as a pdf document to your PC. 

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Venus astrobiology article

The Venus/phosphine discovery team has also written a "hypothesis article" on "The Venusian Lower Atmosphere Haze as a Depot for Desiccated Microbial Life: A Proposed Life Cycle for Persistence of the Venusian Aerial Biosphere".

It is available on ArXiv here (pdf link at top right of that page)

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BBC The Sky at Night

As the first interview got underway I wondered if the team had made their discovery using a Sky-Watcher Infinity 76 'scope...?   :-)

     Alex.

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Life on Venus

There's a good old Yorkshire expression for such speculative claims: " 'Appen ".

It all depends on the inflection in the pronunciation:

'Appen - this is entirely possible; (or, the bandwagon effect).

'Appen - Just possible, but I consider it unlikely; (or, the sceptical rival effect).

'Appen - next it'll be turnips on Titan... (or, the view from Barnsley top).

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Life on Venus (but not as we know it)

And there's a similar expression (last heard in Macclesfield), though slightly less variable in meaning: "Is it 'eck!" with the last word drawn out according to the degree of dimissiveness.

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I'm not in the least

I'm not in the least surprised by the possibility of life in the upper atmosphere of Venus.  The microbes were carried there on board the Verena probes, which would hardly have been sterile at launch.

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Life but not as we k ow it.

If you read the "hypothesis paper" you realise that the life would need to be just as exotic, if not more so, than any chemistry to produce PH3.  

A third possibility is the have miss identified the line which given the technical challenges seems possible. I think they too easily dismissed  SO2 as a source of the line. 

Regards Andrew 

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Life as we know it

Some thoughts:

The planets in our solar system all come from the same building blocks.

Bacterial life in Venusian atmosphere is a theory, but Anding's comment is plausible.

Or, have they discovered some unknown chemistry ?

Spectroscopy was the tool used to make the discovery !

Jack

Essex UK

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Life at Venus

This recent ultra-high-res image was sent on to me by my good friend Prof. I.T.S. Knott-Lykely, of Eccles.

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Corroborative evidence for

Corroborative evidence for phosphine in the Venusian atmosphere published today:

https://arxiv.org/abs/2009.12758

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Geological mechanism

And a possible geological mechanism https://arxiv.org/abs/2009.11904

Regards Andrew

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Re analysis of alma data

Doubt cast on the reliability of the alma signal https://arxiv.org/abs/2010.09761

Regards Andrew 

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arxiv:2010.09761

It had to be bad science or spiders in the waveguide.

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Data withdrawn

It seems the alma data has been withdrawn temporarily while they review the initial calibration. It is not known if this will impact the results.

Regards Andrew 

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Still available

Although the original data has been withdrawn from its original repository it is still available if you know where to look.  If there is any interest I will try to dig it out and let you know where to find it.