Oxygen detected in Venus’ hellish atmosphere

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The atmosphere of Venus does notoriously hellish. The air is corrosive and hot enough to melt lead. The billowing clouds are poisonous to humans. Sometimes it rains acid. But researchers have just discovered that this inhospitable atmosphere, sandwiched between layers of toxic gas, contains a thin layer of molecules oxygen.

Historically speaking Venus has received far less scientific attention than Earth’s other neighbor, Mars. Recent reports that the organic compound phosphine may (or may not) exist in the Venusian clouds, however, have sparked new interest in studying the planet.

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