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No phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus

Villanueva, G. L. and Cordiner, M. and Irwin, P. and de Pater, I. and Butler, B. and Gurwell, M. and Milam, S. N. and Nixon, C. A. and Luszcz-Cook, S. H. and Wilson, C. and Kofman, V. and Liuzzi, G. and Faggi, S. and Fauchez, T. and Lippi, M. and Cosentino, R. and Thelen, A. E. and Moullet, A. and Hartogh, P. and Molter, E. M. and Charnley, S. and Arney, G. N. and Mandell, A. M. and Biver, N. and Vandaele, A. C. and de Kleer, K. R. and Kopparapu, R. (2020) No phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus. . (Unpublished)

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The detection of phosphine (PH₃) has been recently reported in the atmosphere of Venus employing mm-wave radio observations (Greaves et at. 2020). We here demonstrate that the observed PH₃ feature with JCMT can be fully explained employing plausible mesospheric SO₂ abundances (~100 ppbv as per the SO₂ profile given in their figure 9), while the identification of PH₃ in the ALMA data should be considered invalid due to severe baseline calibration issues. We demonstrate this by independently calibrating and analyzing the ALMA data using different interferometric analysis tools, in which we observe no PH₃ in all cases. Furthermore, for any PH₃ signature to be produced in either ALMA or JCMT spectra, PH₃ needs to present at altitudes above 70 km, in stark disagreement with their photochemical network. We ultimately conclude that this detection of PH₃ in the atmosphere of Venus is not supported by our analysis of the data.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Cordiner, M.0000-0001-8233-2436
de Pater, I.0000-0002-4278-3168
Butler, B.0000-0002-5344-820X
Gurwell, M.0000-0003-0685-3621
Liuzzi, G.0000-0003-3638-5750
Fauchez, T.0000-0002-5967-9631
Moullet, A.0000-0002-9820-1032
Molter, E. M.0000-0003-3799-9033
Mandell, A. M.0000-0002-8119-3355
de Kleer, K. R.0000-0002-9068-3428
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201030-142420466
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106365
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Oct 2020 23:06
Last Modified:30 Oct 2020 23:06

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