In the clouds of Venus, scientists may have found signs of extraterrestrial life

A group of scientists say they have found possible signs of extraterrestrial life in a place where few had thought to look: high in the thick, toxic clouds of Venus, our closest planetary neighbor.

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September 15, 2020 - 10:30 AM

A false color composite of the planet Venus created by combining images taken using orange and ultraviolet spectral filters on the Mariner 10's imaging camera. A group of scientists say they have found possible signs of extraterrestrial life in the thick, toxic clouds of Venus. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/TNS)

In the search for life beyond Earth, humans have sent robots to the rocky surface of Mars, deployed spacecraft to investigate the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and aimed their most powerful telescopes toward distant solar systems.

But now, in an unexpected twist, a group of scientists say they have found possible signs of extraterrestrial life in a place where few had thought to look: high in the thick, toxic clouds of Venus, our closest planetary neighbor.

In that noxious environment, they discovered a gas called phosphine that is associated with life on Earth.

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