Then, after six months of data processing, the discovery was confirmed.

Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder, of the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: “When our team actually found phosphine in the clouds of Venus, it was a huge surprise!

“At first, I had my doubts, but once we confirmed our initial detection of the gas with an independent telescope, that was what confirmed it for me”.

Dr Hideo Sagawa of Kyoto Sangyo University proceeded to use models for the Venusian atmosphere to make more sense of the findings.



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