Volcanism caused phosphine gas to appear on Venus

Scientists explain the appearance of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus.

In a new study, Cornell University researchers have proposed a model for the abiogenic origin of phosphines in the atmosphere of Venus.

Phosphine gas (hydrogen phosphide, PH3) is considered one of the possible signs of life, as it can be released by anaerobic organisms.

During the work, the authors analyzed in detail the observation data of the ground-based submillimeter telescope of James Clerk and came to the conclusion that the cause of the penetration of phosphine into the upper atmosphere of Venus is volcanism.

The existence of active volcanism on Venus in the recent geological past is confirmed by some geological signs present in the radar images.

The gas content in the planet’s atmosphere is estimated to range from 1 to 4 parts per billion, with localized peaks ranging from 5 to 10 parts per billion. The mantle of Venus contains a substance phosphide, which, as a result of volcanic activity, could release the atmosphere, where, as a result of reaction with sulfuric acid, it was converted into phosphine.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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