Venus may hold the answers about life we’ve been looking for

By: Jonathan Lunine,  Washington Post
Mon, 09/14/2020

A study published on Monday reported the discovery of phosphine in Venus’s atmosphere. In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Jonathan Lunine, the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences and chair of Cornell’s Department of Astronomy, considers the case for phosphine as a sign of life on Venus. Lunine studies how planets evolve and what processes maintain and establish habitability.

“Is there life on Venus, Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor?” he writes in the piece. “This may seem like an absurd question, given that the surface temperature of Venus is above the melting point of lead. But that has not prevented 50 years of speculation that life might exist in the cool middle atmosphere of the planet, where a thick layer of sulfuric-acid droplets might provide a home. The discovery of phosphine in Venus’s atmosphere, announced in a study published on Monday, could be telling us those ideas are right."

Read the story in the Washington Post.


   Small black sphere in front of a fiery large sphere

Tweets from CSInst

"We ask, who could have actually spotted us? Who could have found out that Earth is teeming with life from their va… https://t.co/WjBMV8CRa4
1 day 16 hours ago
RT : Starting up coding in Astronomy? has some great tips for you in a brand new . https://t.co/K7kOxVBOua
1 day 16 hours ago
RT : Hey students & fellows. Would you consider this ? Do they contribute to our understand… https://t.co/JLRTibRHmo
2 days 3 hours ago
Congratulations to fellows & Esteban Gazel for receiving this grant to study how to us… https://t.co/NgxMDSBqhs
5 days 4 hours ago
New research from director . Who may be able able to see our beautiful "Pale Blue Dot"?… https://t.co/pMY52NVOeE
5 days 5 hours ago
. astronomer & Joshua Pepper identified 1,004 main-sequence stars – similar to o… https://t.co/xZc94rzsC1
5 days 5 hours ago