In this Bullaki Science Podcast Dr Samuele Lilliu and Prof Paul Rimmer go through the details of their publication ‘Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus’.

Paul details the journey of this controversial publication lead by Prof. Jane S. Greaves, which took almost 4 years and involved a large collaboration including multiple research institutes around the world. Paul explains that we do not know any abiotic phosphine (PH3) production routes in Venus’s atmosphere, clouds, surface and subsurface, or from lightning, volcanic or meteoritic delivery. Paul explores the possibility that phosphine (PH3) could either originate from unknown photochemistry or geochemistry, or, building upon a previous work by one of the co-authors of this work (Clara Sousa-Silva), from the presence of life. Finally, Paul lays down a roadmap for future investigations to better understand the origin of phosphine on Venus involving a tandem work between laboratory measurements and ground-based telescope observations.