Recently, scientists have detected phosphine at deeper level in Venus’ atmosphere than before using the James Clark Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) at Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii.
GS III: Science and Technology
Dimensions of the article:
- Properties of Phosphine
- Uses of Phosphine
- Key Facts about Venus
- Phosphine is naturally produced on Earth by bacteria in low-oxygen environments.
- Earth bacteria acquire phosphate from minerals or biological material and combine it with hydrogen to produce phosphine.
- Also known as hydrogen phosphide.
Properties of Phosphine:
Colorless, Flammable, and Toxic:
- Phosphine is a colorless gas with a strong garlic-like odor.
- It is highly flammable and extremely toxic.
- Phosphine is formed through the action of a strong base or hot water on white phosphorus.
- It can also be generated by the reaction of water with calcium phosphide (Ca3P2).
- Phosphine has a structural resemblance to ammonia (NH3).
- However, it is a less effective solvent and less soluble in water compared to ammonia.
Uses of Phosphine:
Semiconductor and Plastics Industries: Phosphine finds application in the semiconductor and plastics industries.
Flame Retardant: It is used in the production of flame retardants.
Pesticide: Phosphine serves as a pesticide for stored grain.
Key Facts about Venus:
- Proximity to Earth: Venus is Earth’s closest planetary neighbor.
- Structure and Position: It has a structure similar to Earth but is slightly smaller and the second planet from the sun.
- Atmosphere: Venus is enveloped by a dense and toxic atmosphere that traps heat.
- Extreme Surface Temperatures: Surface temperatures on Venus can reach an intense 880 degrees Fahrenheit (471 degrees Celsius).
- Slow Rotation: Venus rotates very slowly on its axis, with one day on Venus lasting 243 Earth days.
- Unique Spin: Unlike other planets in our solar system, Venus spins clockwise on its axis.
-Source: Live Mint