My favorite Venusian, David Grinspoon.
Photo: Courtesy D. Grinspoon

A global team of researchers using ground-based observatories announced September 14 the detection of phosphine gas wafting about in the clouds of Venus.

On Earth, this gas is only made industrially – or by microbes that thrive in oxygen-free environments. The detection has given rise to the thought of extraterrestrial “aerial” life on hostile Venus.

Venus in ultraviolet taken by NASA’s Pioneer-Venus Orbiter in 1979 indicating that an unknown absorber is operating in the planet’s top cloud layer.
Credit: NASA





This promising find begs the question: Now what?

I discussed this issue with astrobiologist David Grinspoon, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and an expert on surface-atmospheric interactions on terrestrial planets, such as Venus.



Go to my new SpaceNews story at:

Is Venus a living hell? Conversation with astrobiologist David Grinspoon


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