2/ What they found is phosphine, a gas that here on Earth is either made artificially (it's dangerous and used as a fumigant) or by bacteria. On Venus, it appears to be in a cloud layer about 50 km above the surface, where the temperature is pretty Earth-like.
3/ The scientists looked very hard to see what can make phosphine non-biologically (details are in my article linked above), but didn't find anything that could explain the amount they saw. To be clear: THAT DOESN'T MEAN LIFE. It only means they couldn't come up with anything.
4/ We don't know the chemistry in the Venusian clouds hugely well, so there could be some weird non-bio thing going on there. We've seen stuff like this before in the moons of the gas giants; odd chemistry that looks like life but isn't.
5/ So please don't run around saying scientists have found life on Venus. They have found evidence of something that *could* have been produced by life, but also may not have. We don't know.

Still, it's pretty interesting, and cautiously exciting.
7/ It's not clear what those patches might be. It could be just, well, *stuff*, clumpy material floating in the winds. Bacteria is a stretch, but it does kinda sorta fit the data. This could just be coincidence, mind you. But it's interesting.
8/ FWIW, phosphine is a simple molecule of one phosphorus atom and 3 hydrogens, and it's emitted by anaerobic bacteria here on Earth, usually in rotting corpses. So, ick.
9/ The surface of Venus is incredibly hostile. Tremendous pressure from the thick air (90X Earth's at sea level!) and temperatures hot enough to melt lead and tin. Up higher it's nicer, though the clouds are made of droplets of 90% sulfuric acid. Oof.
10/ If life is there, it would be VERY different from here. But we just don't know. Atmospheric chemistry is ridiculously complicated, and there're a lot of gaps in our understanding of what's going on above Venus.
11/ Obviously, we need to send more probes to our evil twin sister planet and take a MUCH closer look. There are plans in the works to do that. This news may spur some detector design. :) I hope so. Whether life or not, it's interesting, and it'd be cool to know more about it.
12/ And if it *IS* life… well. Wouldn't THAT be something? All this time looking to Mars, and hellish Venus could be where we find it 1st. Delightful! 😆

Which is all the more reason to be healthily skeptical. The more we want something to be true the more careful we need be.
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