Watsisname wrote:A-L-E-X wrote:
"The detection of a gas in Venus’ atmosphere containing the chemical phosphine leads scientists to assert that something now alive is the only explanation for the chemical’s source"
That is not what they are asserting. Please understand this, for the difference is subtle, yet crucial, and it is too often the cause of misleading clickbait.
What they are claiming is that they detected phosphine (with high confidence), at levels which current understanding of atmospheric chemistry cannot explain for Venus. So there is a small chance the detection or derived concentration level of phosphine on Venus is an error, or there is some crazy not-yet-understood atmospheric chemistry happening that makes their modelling erroneous (which would be a useful discovery in and of itself), or there really is life there making it, and if that's the case then it remains to be proven by further measurements.
A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post I honestly dont consider this a huge deal, because microbial life can be fairly common throughout the universe.
Watsisname wrote:A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post I honestly dont consider this a huge deal, because microbial life can be fairly common throughout the universe.
We do not know that however, so the first discovery would be a pretty big deal, much like how the first exoplanet discoveries were a big deal even though we were quite confident they are common out there. What's particularly exciting is that this is our next-door neighbor world which we can quickly and easily access it for further study, and for being such an exotic form of potential life in such an extreme environment. (Phosphine producing anaerobic life exists on Earth, but we don't even fully understand it yet.)
midtskogen wrote:I had to did a bit in the old forums. Back in 2012 I wrote that I think life on Venus is more likely than on Mars (but I'd still say probably no life on either). Mars is overrated, also for human settlements. Floating settlements in Venus' atmosphere still sound better as a permanent thing than bases on Mars for a number of reasons. It's technically harder though. We can build stuff on Mars now, but we're a long way from constructing a settlement on Venus.
So how long now before SpaceX goes to Venus? You know, Musk's plan for Mars is a cover story. He wants to make sure that nobody goes to Venus before him. He knows how Roald Amundsen planned his south pole expedition.