Is There Life on Venus? – level 3

25-09-2020 07:00

On Monday, researchers detected evidence that may suggest that microbes are living in sulfuric clouds in the atmosphere of Venus.

Scientists studied the clouds from telescopes in Hawaii and Chile, and they believe that the clouds contain phosphine, a gas that on Earth is associated with biological life in oxygen-free environments. Researchers have ruled out several factors that could have produced the gas on Venus, such as volcanoes, lightning strikes or small meteorites. Two possibilities remain, one being that there is some unknown chemistry. The second possibility is that there might be a life form in the Venus atmosphere that is making the gas.

In February, NASA said that it was considering two potential missions that could send robotic spacecraft to Venus, and the new research may now speed up these efforts. NASA is expected to make a decision on potential Venus exploration by April next year.

Difficult words: microbe (a small organism or living thing that causes diseases), sulfuric (containing sulfur, a strong acid with no color), rule out (to stop considering something as a possibility).

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