Phosphine in Venus's atmosphere: evidence of life or chemistry?

You do know that chemistry doesn’t work just because you can balance each side of the supposed reaction with equal numbers of each element? Care to explain under what conditions those molecules are supposed to interact to combine the carbon dioxide and phosphine? Why is the carbon monoxide needed, when phosphorous can react directly with water? And why not react directly with hydrogen?

But I’m sure you are going to explain all this, right?

As for hyping, sure, it’s how they make their money. But they are right, in that it could be produced biologically in the atmosphere of Venus. They have ruled out some of the more obvious means of producing the gas, but since they don’t know everything about Venus, there is always the option of a geophysical cause, or something else.
What they also don’t actually tell you, though, is that microbes aren’t yet proven to produce phosphine biologically. It is widely thought to be the breakdown of certain biomass that gives rise to it, not the biological activity of that biomass itself. But more testing in labs is needed.

But please, do explain your reaction and how you think it actually works. :)
i think its the ultraviolet rays. it breaks compounds into smaller components and broken or single atoms have the tendency to stick together.
 
P.S. You can also generate phosphine by hydrolysis of phosphides, but where and how would phosphides form? Some volcanic process, under reducing conditions, maybe?
Precisely right, and if I'd been reviewing their paper, I would've suggested that they try a little 'outside-the-sphere' thinking by opening their thermodynamic system to include highly-reduced metallic meteorites containing phosphide entering the Venusian atmospheric system. Then you'd be Q.E.D., mon ami.
 
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