Thursday, June 17, 2021

Life on Venus: Whatever Happened to It?

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Astronomy, Cosmology, Solar System, Earth & Space Science, Nature of Science, History of Science

Ed Hessler

A while back I published two posts on finding traces of a molecule (phosphine) in the atmosphere of Mars. 

Life, at last, elsewhere in this solar system led the headlines the day it was announced. This was based in part on the simple fact that Venus's atmosphere doesn't have sufficient pressure and temperature to produce this chemical through physical processes. So biology came in. The molecule can be formed chemically and/or biologically. But the excitement cooled when it was learned that some of the data had not been processed correctly.

Sabine Hossenfelder provides a wonderful summary of the events with further explanation so if you want the full story complete in one entry you can read or watch it with my usual reminder to read the comments.

Another motivation for posting it is because of Professor Hossenfelder's final two sentences. 

And so, the summary is, as so often in science. More work is needed.  

The second sentence is the story of science in four words.

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