A beautiful paper co-authored by @Paul.B.Rimmer just came out in Nature Astronomy. This article may be a landmark in the field, perhaps becoming the first validated indication of life on another planet.
The paper’s conclusions are appropriately measured:
Even if confirmed, we emphasize that the detection of PH3 is not robust evidence for life, only for anomalous and unexplained chemistry. There are substantial conceptual problems for the idea of life in Venus’s clouds—the environment is extremely dehydrating as well as hyperacidic. However, we have ruled out many chemical routes to PH3, with the most likely ones falling short by four to eight orders of magnitude (Extended Data Fig. 10). To further discriminate between unknown photochemical and/or geological processes as the source of Venusian PH3, or to determine whether there is life in the clouds of Venus, substantial modelling and experimentation will be important. Ultimately, a solution could come from revisiting Venus for in situ measurements or aerosol return.
It is worth reading in depth. An excellent summary of the finding and its meaning can be found here:
See my coverage, in A Debut Article on Panda's Thumb :