Phosphine detected in Venus's atmosphere

This artistic impression depicts our Solar System neighbour Venus, where scientists have confirmed the detection of phosphine molecules, a representation of which is shown in the inset. The molecules were detected in the Venusian high clouds in data from the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, in which ESO is a partner. 

Astronomers have speculated for decades that life could exist in Venus’s high clouds. The detection of phosphine could point to such extra-terrestrial “aerial” life.


ESO/M. Kornmesser/L. Calçada & NASA/JPL/Caltech

About the Image

Release date:14 September 2020, 17:00
Related releases:eso2015
Size:7680 x 4320 px

About the Object

Type:Solar System : Planet : Feature : Atmosphere
Solar System

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