The Great Venus Phosphine Debate - feat. Prof Jane Greaves

  • Published on: 21 November 2020
  • Does Venus have phosphine or not? Debate rages into the scientific community! In just two months a slew of papers have been released tackling this topic and today we catch up on what's been happening and speak with the lead scientist of the original discoverer paper - Prof. Jane Greaves - to give you the latest developments.

    You can now support our research program and the Cool Worlds Lab at Columbia University:

    Thank-you to K. Clark, T. Widdowson, D. Smith, S. Hackley, M. Sloan, L. Sanborn, K. Kantor, P. Herman, A. Aganbegyan, C. Bottaccini, D. Brunk, D. Daughaday, S. Fincher, J. Kindred, A. Jones, J. Allen, S. Baldwin, J. Black, S. Brownlee, S. Chaturvedi, D. Denholm, T. Dorais, G. Downton, E. Urrestarazu, G. Fulton, S. Griffiths, P. Halloran, J. Jurcevic, N. Kildal, J. Kobernick, W. Kobernick, V. Kremer, M. Lijoi, S. Loftin, B. Loizides, A. Maslyanchuk, B. Matson, O. Mcintyre, L. Mitchell, J. Needle, A. Pelletier, J. Rivillas, B. Robinson, Z. Star, L. Steely, E. Stefan-Matyus, M. Steven, E. West, B. York, T. Zajonc, P. Gowd, S. Kelsey, C. Wolfred, D. Vennel, E. Dessoi, F. Naeem, F. Rebolledo, H. Laging, J. Falls, J. Adams, M. Gremillion, P. Rutherford, T. Kline, T. Leger, L. Skov, T. Hanai, D. Roberts, E. Wilson, I. Baskerville, J. Bassnett, J. Shackleford, M. Undin, M. Kroebel, I. Johnstone, G. Suter, I. Hopcraft, J. Valdes, P. Akrill-Misso, W. Robertson, E. Orman, G. Ingham, D. Hecke, J. Pilloff, T. Bernhard, D. Dianovszki, E. Cook, S. Mass, T. Richards, T. Lancaster.

    :References used::
    ► Greaves et al. (2020), "Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus", Nature Astronomy:
    ► Sousa-Silva et al. (2019), "Phosphine as a Biosignature Gas in Exoplanet Atmosphere",
    Astrobiology, 20, 235:
    ► Mogul et al. (2020), "Is Phosphine in the Mass Spectra from Venus' Clouds?":
    ► Encrenaz et al. (2020), "A stringent upper limit of the PH3 abundance at the cloud top of Venus":
    ► Snellen et al. (2020) "Re-analysis of the 267-GHz ALMA observations of Venus: No statistically significant detection of phosphine":
    ► Villanueva et al. "No phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus", Nature Matters Arising:
    ► Thompson et al. (2020) "The statistical reliability of 267 GHz JCMT observations of Venus"
    ► Greaves et al. (2020): "Re-analysis of Phosphine in Venus' Clouds", Nature Matters Arising

    ::Movies/TV scenes used::
    ► Exploring Venus (2019) Magellan TV

    ::Other video footage used::
    ► VLT timelapse by ESO/Y. Beletsky (LCO)/Christoph Malin ( Tafreshi (
    ► Venus UV footage by Akatsuki/JAXA:
    ► ELT footage by ESO:
    ► Venus transit footage by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO:

    Music used is licensed via Creative Commons (CC) Attribution License (
    ► The Sun is Scheduled to Come Out Tomorrow by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:

    ::Playlists For Channel::
    Latest Cool Worlds Videos ►
    Cool Worlds Research ►
    Guest Videos ►
    Q&A Videos ►
    Science of TV/Film ►

    ::Follow us::
    SUBSCRIBE to the channel
    Cool Worlds Lab

    #VenusPhosphine #VenusianPhosphine #CoolWorlds
  • Runtime : 21:44
  • Astronomy Astrophysics Exoplanets Cool Worlds Kipping


  • How the world works
    How the world works   1 months ago

    I agree. Science has to stay as far away as possible from tribalism. I know this is a very tough thing to ask but if any group of people on this planet are best equipped to understand and apply things then that group should be the scientific community.

  • Randomdude8
    Randomdude8   3 months ago

    Are there any updates on the Phosphine debate?

  • g g
    g g   4 months ago

    can we settle this by flying to venus and checking it out pls

  • s.reichw
    s.reichw   4 months ago

    There is most likely NO phosphine on Venus. There was a wrong measurement in the paper originally suggesting that. It's known for months by now! As nice as Destiny's videos are to look at, there are often littered with mistakes and questionable statements... Better check out other Channels such as Cool Worlds.

  • Devire
    Devire   4 months ago

    It's sad to see how few views this video has. Especially considering that the first video on the matter has more than 1 million views.

  • Dark Matter
    Dark Matter   4 months ago

    David the glasses frame shape you’ve chosen suit you. Try and find another pair like that but black and larger. The black will pick up your complexion and hair better and larger frames are in fashion and look better IMO.

  • Locutus von Borg
    Locutus von Borg   5 months ago

    i have just notice you have a picard staying there... guess what i have ? of course i do have locutus of borg :)in an alcove tho, cause managing borg is a tedious task :D

  • Cameron Mcleish
    Cameron Mcleish   6 months ago

    If there is phosphine on Venus in the clouds and then life could be everywhere in the universe..

  • Andrew Smyth
    Andrew Smyth   6 months ago

    Healthy debate results in real science. Please can the rest of the world apply the same approach to everything else in 2021.

  • AiguilleVoodoo
    AiguilleVoodoo   6 months ago

    I feel bad for her. Some scientists are very competitive and will enjoy destroying your work rather than being constructive or collaborative. The higher the impact factor, the more vulnerable you are...

  • Devan Unni
    Devan Unni   6 months ago

    Debate is the most important aspect of scientific research...

    ACE BASIN NATION   6 months ago

    I get it, searching grasping researching in all directions but deep down we feel the vibes of what we knew all along

  • chuckschilling
    chuckschilling   6 months ago

    I enjoy your channel very much - you clearly have a passion for your and others' work in the field, without the agenda that seems to consume the majority of practitioners of the astronomical and physics fields. There is far too much attaboying in the field when these highly speculative papers are released and not nearly enough clear-headed skeptics rigorously examining the research. And peer review doesn't seem to mean diddly these days - at least not the stuff they claim to be peer review at the time of publication.

  • Darren Smith
    Darren Smith   6 months ago

    This whole video hinges itself to a brick-door of finding out who might be wrong and what might not be working and the reason for either to cancel each other out dependent on the time spent and the money no one got fighting themselves, it and the hollow system holding it all back.

  • Darren Smith
    Darren Smith   6 months ago

    2:00 - Evidence. We keep accumulating it and finding another reason to ignore the obvious because we don't want things to be what they are highly likely to be.

  • Darren Smith
    Darren Smith   6 months ago

    The chances that Venus and Mars had life on it in the past is equal to the chances that Earth could lose its own in a similar way.

  • TheOtherSteel
    TheOtherSteel   7 months ago

    Did you get out of bed and start filming? Because you need to comb your hair and shave.

  • The Ifthenist
    The Ifthenist   7 months ago

    Yes it is good to be skeptical. But there is a difference in being skeptical and trying to disprove a theory. When 2 people come out with exact data with equal chance of being the stated theory or something else there are those that always lean toward it being something else just to take something away from the theorist. You see it all the time. People cover their true intent with "skepticism" when they're true intention is to discredit. Sad really. You don't need to lean to the negative when all things are equal. Devils advocate? Sure. Negative intent? Take a walk.😏✌P.S. Does anyone have an opinion on my theory that whether you are attempting to prove a theory or attempting to disprove it both ways will inevitably end up at the same truth so why not do the former?

  • Roy S
    Roy S   7 months ago

    Thank you very much Jane for taking the time for this q&a amazing work don't stop! 💓

  • Lalo
    Lalo   7 months ago

    A good scientist is skeptical of everything

  • Mervin Marias
    Mervin Marias   7 months ago

    "It cannot be explained by volcanism". Says who? Always give yourself a way out. It is unlikely to be explained by volcanism is more realistic and truthful. Unless you have all the facts in hand one cannot make blanket statements like that.

  • Summer Lake Photog
    Summer Lake Photog   7 months ago

    In a volcanic hellish environment like Venus it’s not unlikely that sometime somewhere white phosphorus was heated in an aqueous solution of potash thus producing phosphine. It’s an inorganic chemical not even remotely connected to the biochemical makeup of cellular life. As a matter of fact it is a poisonous gas. Calling phosphine a marker for life seems like a stretch. I’m a huge skeptic for life on Venus. Now exomoons, not so skeptical.

  • THX 1138
    THX 1138   7 months ago

    In the end I think most things we think are true really aren't. Today's truth is just today's most honest opinion about what's true....In ten years we may get data back from a probe or something that finds conclusive proof of phosphine, maybe even life in Venus's atmosphere. On that day it will be scientific fact there is life on Venus. If next day some clever experiment proves our Universe is just a computer simulation then despite all the evidence amassed and honest intentions of those who collected and championed the various theories the truth that day will be there is no life on Venus because there is no Venus..... In the end Science is a process to find the truth, but truth is ultimately unknowable. All we really can ever achieve is a commitment to truthfulness.

  • Science IBR
    Science IBR   8 months ago

    Go check out my science Channal on youtube . i'll explain to you Astronomy , cosmology and quantum in simple level . Youtube : Science IBR

  • Emanuel Vellios
    Emanuel Vellios   8 months ago

    So to be clear, Jane and her team still believe there's sufficient phosphene gas to suggest biological processes?

  • riveness
    riveness   8 months ago

    Unfortunately it is clear the claim should not have been made, that thus the claim should have been made in that way. He is a result and it could be this, but we are very skeptical. The possibility, with low probability is true. Verification needed.I saw a lot of this in my previous job where claims were made too forcefully. I was a scale up engineer for membrane separations. The number of papers that claimed "performance suitable for industrial applications" were quite high. These were often in highly rated papers, reviewed by well regarded scientists. The engineer in me could very quickly discount 99% of those claims. And industrial performance requirements are fairly fixed.When aiming at an unfixed performance requirement, a chemical composition that might indicate life, the researchers need to be skeptical themselves.

  • Mathias List
    Mathias List   8 months ago

    FOLKS! before you get excited : 2 P4 + 12 H2O -> 2 PH3 + 6 H3PO2 ; P4 + 6H2 -> 4 PH3 ; ... Thus no life is required for phosphine to occur.

  • Mathias List
    Mathias List   8 months ago

    The question is: "Will anaerobic bacteria survive the climate change?"

  • Justin Davis
    Justin Davis   8 months ago

    this maybe sounds highly ignorant but how is it possible to know the answers when there are so many unknowns? or is it basically best guess?

  • Justin Davis
    Justin Davis   8 months ago

    real science should be by definition up for debate. love your work man🖖🏽

  • Hope4Today9 Now
    Hope4Today9 Now   8 months ago

    Not much of a debate ... very sad that about the calibration ... Still the conclusions which were being drawing were liberal to the extreme and excluded natural sources such as lightning striking a mineral deposits.They should have just published their finding without drawing conclusions.Being proven wrong is good science... Wasting your time on badly calibrated data... that sucks.

  • VikingInfidel
    VikingInfidel   8 months ago

    I swear, you could make ASMR talking about science, sci-fi, and astrophysics!

  • Capudoo Edit
    Capudoo Edit   8 months ago

    ..... .Me ajuda se pode .