Recently, scientists have detected phosphine at a deeper level in Venus' atmosphere than before using the James Clark Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) at Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii.
- Phosphine on Earth is developed naturally by bacteria that live in very low-oxygen environments.
- To produce phosphine, Earth bacteria take up phosphate from minerals or biological material and add hydrogen.
- It is also called as hydrogen phosphide.
- It is a colourless, flammable, extremely toxic gas with a disagreeable garlic like odour.
- It is formed by the action of a strong base or hot water on white phosphorus or by the reaction of water with calcium phosphide (Ca3P2).
- It is structurally similar to ammonia (NH3), but phosphine is a much poorer solvent than ammonia and is much less soluble in water.
- Uses of Phosphine
- It is used in semiconductor and plastics industries, in the production of a flame retardant, and as a pesticide in stored grain.
Key facts about Venus
- It is Earth’s closest planetary neighbor.
- Similar in structure but slightly smaller than Earth, it is the second planet from the sun.
- It is wrapped in a thick, toxic atmosphere that traps in heat.
- Its surface temperatures reach a scorching 880 degrees Fahrenheit (471 degrees Celsius).
- It rotates very slowly on its axis – one day on Venus lasts 243 Earth days.
- Unlike the other planets in our solar system, Venus spins clockwise on its axis.
Q1) What is Phosphate?
Phosphate is the natural source of phosphorous, an element that provides a quarter of all the nutrients that plants need for their growth and development.