For decades, human have explored life outside earth. Space exploration has now become a feasible operation. Private firms with the likes of SpaceX have successfully launched space vehicles and landed on International Space Station. Notwithstanding that the Red planet Mars is deemed too far and dangerous mission for human landing, Viking Lander – an unmanned operation – successfully landed and broadcasted live images of Mars surface. In addition, Viking Lander provided useful atmospheric data to infer possibilities of life on Mars. One parameter that is regarded as a good indicator of life on other planets and exoplanets is Atmospheric Biosignatures.
Life on earth has significantly disturbed the equilibrium of gases in atmosphere. Life which could be human, plants, animals, anything living is constantly reacting with atmosphere. Life is consuming and producing gases. This disequilibrium in the concentration of gases in atmosphere is often dubbed Atmospheric Biosignatures which is a measure of life outside Earth. A typical biosignature is methane which is now available well above the equilibrium level on Earth. Methane is a byproduct of life. Scientists have been studying it for decades as a possible symbol of life on Mars. Viking Lander data showed signs of Methane on Mars.
Phosphine, a new symbol of life
Lately, scientists have begun to study another gas, Phosphine, study shows exist in disequilibrium. Phosphine is phosphorus bonded to three Hydrogen atoms.
There is a lot of focus on studying Phosphine on Venus which is a neighbour planet as opposed to Mars, on average – 300 days away from Earth. Scientists are also doing various laboratory experiments to be able to create Phosphine by mixing other gases and chemicals. For a gas to be deemed ‘Biosignature’, it should be possible to re-create in laboratory. And that is what ‘Life’ does i.e. interact with atmosphere creating/consuming gases and disturbing equilibrium which could be measured in terms of gaseous concentration.
Ioteach and Gas Measurements
Ioteach has been a pioneer in developing teaching and analysis technologies. From three dimensional ‘Big Analogue Data’ to controlling sophisticated spectrometers for precisely and accurately measuring concentration of gases in parts per billion, we have solutions to help you achieve your objectives.
If you require assistance with gathering and analysing data, whether it is sensor, wireless telegrams or gaseous concentration then we might be able to assist.