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Astro Seminar

Phosphine in the Clouds of Venus

Speaker: Jane Greaves (Cardiff)
Date: Wednesday 28 October 2020
Time: 14:00
Venue: Zoom

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.