Phosphine as a Biosignature Gas in Exoplanet Atmospheres.

@article{SousaSilva2019PhosphineAA,
  title={Phosphine as a Biosignature Gas in Exoplanet Atmospheres.},
  author={Clara Sousa-Silva and Sara Seager and Sukrit Ranjan and Janusz Jurand Petkowski and Zhuchang Zhan and Renyu Hu and William Bains},
  journal={Astrobiology},
  year={2019}
}
A long-term goal of exoplanet studies is the identification and detection of biosignature gases. Beyond the most discussed biosignature gas O2, only a handful of gases have been considered in detail. In this study, we evaluate phosphine (PH3). On Earth, PH3 is associated with anaerobic ecosystems, and as such, it is a potential biosignature gas in anoxic exoplanets. We simulate the atmospheres of habitable terrestrial planets with CO2- and H2-dominated atmospheres and find that PH3 can… 

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This work thoroughly explores the potential pathways of formation of phosphine in a venusian environment, including in the planet's atmosphere, cloud and haze layers, surface, and subsurface, and provides a template for investigation of phosphines as a biosignature on other worlds.

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Phosphorus-related species are not known to be as omnipresent in space as hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur-bearing species. Astronomers spotted very few P-bearing molecules in the

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