Phosphine gas could still be produced by some yet unknown non-living process, but it’s an interesting, and potentially important, find.
‘Measurements of trace gases in planetary atmospheres help us explore chemical conditions different to those on Earth. Our nearest neighbour, Venus, has cloud decks that are temperate but hyperacidic. Here we report the apparent presence of phosphine (PH3) gas in Venus’s atmosphere, where any phosphorus should be in oxidized forms.‘
Despite being a near twin in size to Earth-mass and gravity, Venus spins too slowly for an electro-magnetic dynamo to create a EM field, enveloping and protecting the planet. With ninety times the surface pressure of Earth, and temperatures up to nine-hundred degrees Farenheit, to say it would be hellish would be an understatement.
Yet, it once harbored liquid water oceans, and maybe, just maybe, some kind of microbial life has migrated up into the fast-moving clouds. Click through for a visual.
Or listen to a podcast while you work, walk, or clean:
Addition: Anton Petrov sheds some light:
Next to Enceledaus, a tiny moon being warped by Saturn, this is probably the most important indicator of extra-terrestial life going right now: