POSSIBLE MARKER FOR LIFE FOUND ON VENUS
Jeanine.Gelhaus last edited by Jeanine.Gelhaus
Life on another planet? That is something found in the science fiction books right?
Well, team leader Jane Greaves of Cardiff University in the UK got a surprise when she spotted signs of phosphine in observations from the JCMT operated by the East Asian Observatory, in Hawaii. Confirming their discovery required using 45 antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, a more sensitive telescope in which the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is a partner. Both facilities observed Venus at a wavelength of about 1 millimetre, much longer than the human eye can see -- only telescopes at high altitude can detect it effectively. This international team of astronomers announced yesterday the discovery of this rare molecule -- phosphine -- in the clouds of Venus. On Earth, this gas is only made industrially or by microbes that thrive in oxygen-free environments. Astronomers have speculated for decades that high clouds on Venus could offer a home for microbes -- floating free of the scorching surface but needing to tolerate very high acidity. The detection of phosphine could point to such extra-terrestrial 'aerial' life.
I've used the NASA Space Place with students in my classroom and they enjoy being able to search out the different planets. https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/all-about-venus/en/
Here is one more site: https://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/venus.html Besides the images there are three activities on the bottom of that page.