Author Topic: Phosphine Detected In The Atmosphere of Venus - An Indicator of Possible Life?  (Read 159 times)

Offline drunkenshoe

http://astrobiology.com/2020/09/phosphine-detected-in-the-atmosphere-of-venus---an-indicator-of-possible-life.html

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(Monday, 14 September) morning at the Royal Astronomical Society. They want you to know its big news. The press release has been issued in advance to some journalists under embargo - but not others (like us). We have not seen the press release. But according to several sources knowledgeable with the details of the announcement (who are not under embargo) phosphine has been discovered in the atmosphere of Venus. Its presence suggests - suggests - some strange chemistry going on since phosphine is something you'd only expect to see if life (as we know it) was involved.

The presence of phosphine is seen by many astrobiologists as a "biosignature" i.e. an indicator of the possible presence of life. The detection was made by the Atacama (ALMA) array located in Chile and the James Clerk Maxwell telescope located in Hawaii. The research team includes members from the University of Manchester, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Cardiff University. A paper will appear in the 14 September issue of Nature Astronomy.

From what we're told the researchers have concluded that abiotic mechanisms (i.e. ones that do not involve life) that might produce phosphine cannot account for the large amount that they have detected. The phosphine has been detected in the region within the atmosphere of Venus that is considered by some to be potentially habitable. As to what spin the researchers put on this, we'll have to wait for reporters who have the press release or are allowed to participate in the Zoom press conference thing tomorrow at 15:00 GMT to let us know.

 Keith's 11:19 pm EDT update: This video just appeared online. Apparently someone got it from MIT and reposted it on their site - with a somewhat misleading title.

"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Offline Baruch

Not a nice planet to live on ;-(
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline drunkenshoe

Well, she is not just a toxic bitch after all... She is a beauty. :)
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

I think if there were intelligent life within our own solar system, we would know it by now.

"As to what spin the researchers put on this..."

Researchers don't put a spin on data. The people who grab their research and come to hasty conclusions about it are the ones putting spin on it.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Offline Baruch

I think if there were intelligent life within our own solar system, we would know it by now.

"As to what spin the researchers put on this..."

Researchers don't put a spin on data. The people who grab their research and come to hasty conclusions about it are the ones putting spin on it.

And sometimes researchers over claim too ... but further research will tell.  Will you go to Venus to collect samples?
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Let's send Trump with his Space Force!

;-)
God Not Found
"There is a sucker born-again every minute." - C. Spellman

Offline Baruch

Let's send Trump with his Space Force!

;-)

This was mentioned in the first Star Trek Classic episode where the Enterprise went to the 20th century.  The captured AF officer, he son would lead the first mission to Venus ;-)  This forced Capt Kirk to return him to Earth.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline drunkenshoe

I think if there were intelligent life within our own solar system, we would know it by now.

Obviously, it's E: NOT about finding intelligent life. It's about discovering any building blocks of any kind of life anywhere. I doubt scientists would be determined with something so specific in this field. The possibility of humans encountering an intelligent life anywhere in the universe is so low, it is science fiction.

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"As to what spin the researchers put on this..."

Researchers don't put a spin on data. The people who grab their research and come to hasty conclusions about it are the ones putting spin on it.

I don't think he means 'putting a spin on data' but choosing who -news vendor, journalist, blogs- to give the information first hand. Science reporting is a very problematic issue. Because ignorant people insist on thinking that scientists are supressing huge kind of information all the time and so we live in hoax(es). If he thought they put a spin on the data and that it meant something ridiculously big like 'intelligent life', he probably wouldn't point out the incorrect title of the video.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 03:22:49 PM by drunkenshoe »
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

I think it all but a forgone conclusion that life exists within our solar system.  Simply look at where life exists on this planet.  It exists everywhere and in almost all environments, including boiling springs, geysers, the lightless bottom of the ocean, within the ice of Antarctica, the driest deserts --everywhere. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline drunkenshoe

Correction:

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Obviously, it's E: NOT about finding intelligent life.
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Offline SGOS

Of course we don't know what we don't know, but we can speculate heavily on things we don't know.  Personally, I would bet the farm that the universe is crawling with life.  Maybe not on every planet or every solar system, but in millions of places in every galaxy.  The bottom line is that life is nothing special.  The fact that elements have an affinity to join with other elements is just basic chemistry.  Put oxygen and hydrogen together and add a spark, and you have water.  Not all elements combine with that same orgasmic intensity, but combine they do, and life is nothing more than a fairly complex arrangement of elements into molecules.  Complex?  Certainly, but still unavoidable.  It's just one of many outcomes of chemical interactions.

I read an observation once that sticks with me:  "At some point in the evolution of chemical interactions, a little bag of complex substances twitched, and life began."  That's a paraphrase, but close enough to convey the idea.  Life is just chemistry with special properties, but then all chemical combinations have special properties too.  So what's the big deal about life?  Why is it a bigger deal than quartz or ice?  It's just chemistry.

But, but, but... life has a soul or at least a spirit kind of thingy.  Ugh.. Don't get me started.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 09:03:53 AM by SGOS »

Offline Baruch

What is the big deal about life?  Says an elderly man ;-)  Not what a young man says.  OK Boomer.

Entropy defines life more or less.  You have a local area in space and period in time, where things are getting more organized, information is increasing and entropy is decreasing.  A net loss game though, because the global entropy increases anyway, life accelerates decay.  Eventually every biosphere dies from lack of available resource exploitation, accumulation of natural and life induced high entropy.  A geologically active planet and a star shining sufficiently close but not too close, is a great help (see Mars or Venus).  Your corpse is where the entropy you lowered catches up to you.  No free lunch, eat your meal then pay the bill with interest.

So yes, nothing special, if you want to increase entropy locally.

If you aren't following this you don't know any biology



Europa moon of Jupiter is the most interesting, as said in Space 2010 fiction.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 09:25:16 PM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

If life is indeed found on Venus, and if it is totally different from Earth life, with absolutely no cross-contamination, that will have tremendous implications for the existence of life in the cosmos. I'm afraid it will say little about intelligence out there, though.
God Not Found
"There is a sucker born-again every minute." - C. Spellman

Offline Baruch

If life is indeed found on Venus, and if it is totally different from Earth life, with absolutely no cross-contamination, that will have tremendous implications for the existence of life in the cosmos. I'm afraid it will say little about intelligence out there, though.

Microbes are the most successful life forms.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

I know, we are legion! We are composed of nothing but microbes.
God Not Found
"There is a sucker born-again every minute." - C. Spellman