Phosphine in the clouds of Venus

Jane S. Greaves , from Cardiff University, will tell us about her recent results on the possible detection of phosphine in Venus and about its potential implications ( 


I will describe how a small and novel experiment in millimetre-wavelength astronomy led to an intensive project to assess the phosphorus chemistry of the cool upper clouds of Venus. The detection of phosphine, PH3, can not be explained with our current understanding of chemical processes on Venus. I will describe the state of worldwide efforts to find a new chemical origin, or even a source from organisms adapted to a hyper-acidic environment.