The search for life on Venus has a fascinating history. Carl Sagan famously and sarcastically said there were obviously dinosaurs there since a thick haze we couldn’t see through covered the surface. More recently, evidence has pointed to a more nuanced idea of how life might exist on our sister planet. A recent announcement of phosphine in the Venusian atmosphere caused quite a stir in the research community and numerous denials from other research groups. But science moves on, and now some of the researchers involved in the phosphine finding have come up with a series of small missions that will help settle the question more thoroughly – by directly sampling Venus’ atmosphere for the first time in almost 40 years.Continue reading “A Private Mission to Scan the Cloud Tops of Venus for Evidence of Life”
Balloon Mission May Also Work to Detect Quakes on Venus
An opportunity in 2019 lays the groundwork for balloon-borne detectors on Venus, working to unravel a key mystery.
The skies of Venus may become a busy place in the coming decade, using technology field-tested here on Earth.
A team out of NASA JPL-Caltech hypothesized that terrestrial earthquakes should also produce low-frequency infrasonic sound waves, which would be transmitted from the ground through the atmosphere as changes in barometric pressure. These sound waves, while difficult to detect, should be measurable via highly sensitive barometers carried aloft.Continue reading “Balloon Mission May Also Work to Detect Quakes on Venus”