Astronomers See Possible Hints of Life in Venus’s Clouds
By SETH BORENSTEIN
Astronomers looking at the atmosphere in neighboring Venus see something that might just be a sign of life. In a study published Monday, they say they found the chemical signature of a noxious gas called phosphine. On Earth, phosphine is associated with life. It's found at the bottom of ponds, in badger guts and in penguin guano. Astronomers tried to figure out other, non-biological ways it could be produced and came up empty. Outside experts — and the study authors themselves — say the research is tantalizing but not yet convincing.