Three ways scientists could search for life on Venus



Lava flows extend for hundreds of kilometers across the fractured plains shown in the foreground, to the base of Maat Mons on Venus. (NASA/JPL/) Venus is hot right now, and not just because its hellacious surface temperatures can melt lead. After a recent surprise discovery of a molecule associated with life in the planet’s atmosphere, Venusian clouds have joined the subsurface of Mars, the water oceans of Europa and Enceladus, and the methane lakes of Titan on the short list of nearby places astrobiologists would like to search for extraterrestrial life. “Life on Venus? The discovery of phosphine, a byproduct of anaerobic biology, is the most significant development yet in building the case...

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