- Nov 11, 2019
I'd like to know what spectra Way is comparing. SO₂ and phosphine look radically different to me.The data do not even pass the most rudimentary requirement : Confirmation by other scientists.
Quoting from the article:
"But did the research team really see phosphine? The observations contain a good amount of noise, which might simply be mimicking a phosphine signal, suggested Carpenter.
Michael Way, a physical scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, agreed.
"More lines are needed to verify that it is this particular molecule," Way told Live Science in an email. "As this point it's not 100% clear exactly what they have measured."
"In particular, Way pointed out that there is a signature associated with sulfur dioxide, SO2, at nearly the same frequency of light. Sulfur dioxide is the third most abundant gas in Venus' atmosphere, so its presence might account for the phosphine finding, David Catling, an astrobiologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, told Live Science in an email."
When there is "a good amount of noise" (spectral data in this case), one must be very careful with interpretations. It is likely that the smart money is betting on SO2.
This is not typical spectra. From a blog off Science Magazine (1):I'd like to know what spectra Way is comparing. SO₂ and phosphine look radically different to me.