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Jeff Jackson
Jeff Jackson

Venusian (Atmospheric Mix) PORTABLE

The discovery puts a spotlight on the prospect of life in the venusian clouds, which was once considered a fringe idea. In addition to igniting much debate, the detection of unexplained phosphine in the clouds of Venus has already spurred more research and unofficial proposals about how future Venus missions could hunt for more signs of alien life.

Venusian (Atmospheric Mix)


In a paper published last month, Seager and her colleagues proposed a hypothetical life cycle that would allow venusian microbes to survive at altitudes between 30 to 37 miles (48 to 60 kilometers) above the surface. The idea depends on the microbes hibernating as "spores" cocooned inside sulfuric acid cloud droplets, episodically falling to lower cloud layers as acid rain, before later surfing back skyward on updrafts of air.

The space agency is also currently considering two proposals that target Venus as part of its low-budget Discovery-class mission program: an orbiter called VERITAS and an atmospheric probe called DAVINCI+. Fillberto, who is a member of the DAVINCI+ team, says the probe could directly detect phosphine as it descends through the dense venusian atmosphere. 041b061a72


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