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September 15, 2020 - Reuters

Potential sign of alien life detected on inhospitable Venus

Potential sign of alien life detected on inhospitable Venus
Planet VenusCredit: NASA Mariner 10 spacecraft

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists said on Monday they have detected in the harshly acidic clouds of Venus a gas called phosphine that indicates microbes may inhabit Earth’s inhospitable neighbor, a tantalizing sign of potential life beyond Earth.

The researchers did not discover actual life forms, but noted that on Earth phosphine is produced by bacteria thriving in oxygen-starved environments. The international scientific team first spotted the phosphine using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii and confirmed it using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope in Chile.

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