Scientists researching the Venusian atmosphere have detected a trace gas called phosphine that suggests microbes may inhabit the scorching planet, where the temperature is a toasty 800 degrees Fahrenheit and the atmosphere is filled with carbon dioxide and clouds composed of sulfuric acid.
Although not finding actual life forms, scientists noted that on Earth the the only source of phosphine in nature is produced by bacteria thriving in oxygen-starved environments such as swamps, marshes and landfills, and is also highly toxic.
Astrophysicists use probes and telescopes to detect “biosignatures” that are indirect signs of life on other planets and moons in our solar system and beyond. Don Stevens, the director of Perkins Observatory at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, explained in an email on how life could have survived in the roiling atmosphere on Venus.
“At 40 or so miles above the surface of Venus, the pressure is about the same as sea level on Earth and the temperature is comparable to a warm spring day in Ohio. In the high altitudes of Venus, these extremophiles (microorganisms) could find a haven. This is exactly where the researchers detected the signature of significant amounts of phosphine.”
Regarding the stunning scientific findings, Stevens wrote, “Phosphine and other molecules vibrate and spin. As they do, they emit light in the microwave frequencies of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. They can be detected even in very distant parts of the universe.”
The Atacama Large Millimeter Array telescopes in Chile “are designed to observe light in the microwave bands — wavelengths which the human eye cannot see but are easily observable to these telescopes,” Stevens added. “Most microwave telescopes are built in arrays of many dishes which are spread far apart to increase their resolution.” This is about the same resolution as the Hubble Telescope.
Stevens elaborated that “microwave observatories are usually built in remote locations to be free from local interference such as your microwave ovens and cellphones. They are also built at high altitude on plateaus and mountains to be above most of the Earth’s atmospheric water, which blocks a lot of the weak microwave signals from space.”
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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Donald Trump is expected to choose Amy Coney Barrett Saturday as his nominee for the Supreme Court.
Expect another late summer day Sunday, as we continue with a dry streak going on two weeks without a drop of rain–not all that unusual this time of year, when high pressure rules. In September 1963, we had 16 days in a row without rain, and then started a month-long streak dry spell in October that lasted until Halloween.
Skies will be partly sunny Sunday, with a mild southwesterly flow behind high pressure in the Southeast that will push afternoon temperatures just above 80 degrees for the fourth day in a row–nearly 10 degrees above normal. Expect breezy conditions to develop.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Mid-American Conference announced Friday that football will start Nov. 4 with teams playing a six-game, conference only schedule.
MAC presidents and chancellors unanimously approved a season. The championship game will be Dec. 18 or 19.
Venus, Earth, Meteoroid
World news – US – Could there be life on Venus?