Phosphene, James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, Alma Telescope discussed on The Naked Scientists
If hypotheses. Correct. It's kind of difficult to overstate how big of a deal this is. It would be the first ever detection of extraterrestrial life proof that we truly aunt alone in the universe. Now don't get too carried away. Nobody's theorizing little green men just yet. If we are looking at life year, it's very likely some kind of extreme microbial life tiny organisms capable of surviving in the harsh acidic environment Venus upper cloud decks. So, how did the team discover this? They used a technique discovered originally by Robert bunsen burner fame back in the eighteen hundreds, his breakthrough was to realize that different chemicals absorb and emit specific colors or wavelengths of light and a particular combination of colors is unique to given chemical compound. So by measuring the colors of light that the atmosphere of Venus or another planet absorbs emits can identify the cocktail of chemicals that present without having to actually go. The team turned the hawaii-based James Clerk Maxwell telescope and the South American. Alma telescope to stay at Venus and record the light coming from the planet's atmosphere. What out from the data was a signal consistent with phosphate at a concentration of about twenty parts per billion indicating possible life in the upper atmosphere. But phosphene isn't just produced by life. There are other natural chemical processes that can produce it, and it's been found elsewhere in the solar system before, for example, around gas giants like Jupiter. However. On. A rocky planet like Venus with the kinds of conditions exist that we aren't aware of any mechanisms for making phosphene other than as a byproduct of living organisms. So it's possible, this some new chemistry or some other as yet undiscovered mechanism, which is responsible for the presence of fos in the atmosphere of Venus, and it definitely requires further study to confirm. But for now, it's arguably the strongest signature of extraterrestrial life that we have ever detected. Exciting stuff. Then mcallister reporting. Hello I'm Chris Barrow bringing you a brand new podcast called naked gaming. This is where.