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There may not be life on Venus after all, but we shouldn’t despair

LAST month the world of planetary exploration exploded following news that phosphine gas had been observed in Venus’s atmosphere, which could possibly be a sign of life.

The team that discovered the phosphine, led by Jane Greaves of Cardiff University in the UK, could not find a mechanism to produce enough phosphine on Venus to explain these observations. On earth, the gas is generated by living organisms and industrial processes.

However, this detection has now been called into question. First, a look at old data from a group that included researchers involved in …