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Venus –Does it hold Life?

Venus –Does it hold Life?

UPSC CSE Mains Syllabus: GS-3- Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Venus –Does it hold Life?

Is there life on Venus?

  • The idea was triggered recently after astronomers announcedthe discovery of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of the planet.
  • Phosphine, a colourless but smelly gas, is known to be made only by some species of bacteria that survive in the absence of oxygen.
  • The international team of scientists reported traces of phosphine in concentration of approximately 20 parts per billion, thousands to millions of times more than what could otherwise be expected. Their findings were published in Nature Astronomy.
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Phosphine how does it occur:

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What about life on Venus:

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Missions to Venus:

Venus was one of the first planets to be visited by spacecraft from Earth. Probes do not last long on the surface, where the atmosphere is 50 times denser than Earth’s and temperatures are hot enough to melt lead. Spacecraft headed to Mercury use Venus’ gravity to adjust their trajectories; even missions headed to the outer solar system often fly by Venus first.

Some of the missions are,

Venus Express

The European Space Agency’s Venus Express studied the planet’s ionosphere and atmosphere, enabling scientists to draw important conclusions about the surface.


NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft flew past Venus twice on its way to Mercury.


NASA and the European Space Agency’s Cassini-Huygens mission visited Venus twice during its long trek out to Saturn.


NASA’s Magellan orbiter mapped over 98% of Venus at a resolution of 100 meters or better using its radar.


NASA’s Galileo spacecraft used Venus’ gravity to adjust its trajectory on the way to Jupiter.

Source:” Indian Express ”.


What does the recent discovery of phosphine in Venus mean for future space probes?