Results tagged “phosphine”

On 14th September 2020, the Royal Astronomical Society made an official statement coupled with a webminar on the discovery of phosphine on Venus.

We published spectra of phosphine molecules in Venus' clouds, following open-science principles in releasing data and scripts (with community input leading to ALMA re-processing, now benefiting multiple projects).

Re-analysis Of Phosphine In Venus' Clouds

We first respond to two points raised by Villanueva et al. We show the JCMT discovery spectrum of PH3 can not be re-attributed to SO2, as the line width is larger than observed for SO2 features, and the required abundance would be an extreme outlier.

No Phosphine In The Atmosphere Of Venus

The detection of phosphine (PH3) has been recently reported in the atmosphere of Venus employing mm-wave radio observations (Greaves et at. 2020). We here demonstrate that the observed PH3 feature with JCMT can be fully explained employing plausible mesospheric SO2 abundances (~100 ppbv as per the SO2 profile given in their figure 9), while the identification of PH3 in the ALMA data should be considered invalid due to severe baseline calibration issues.

Context: ALMA observations of Venus at 267 GHz have been presented in the literature that show the apparent presence of phosphine (PH3) in its atmosphere. Phosphine has currently no evident production routes on the planet's surface or in its atmosphere.

Considering the implications of the reported single spectral line detection of phosphine (PH3) by Greaves et al., we were inspired to re-examine data obtained from the Pioneer-Venus Large Probe Neutral Mass Spectrometer (LNMS) to search for evidence of phosphorus compounds.

We propose an abiotic geological mechanism that accounts for the abundance of phosphine detected by Greaves et al., 2020.

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