Scientists discover oxygen in sulfuric acid clouds on Venus

Anastasia Kryshchuk

Scientists discover oxygen in sulfuric acid clouds on Venus

Oxygen makes up about 21% of the air on Earth, while most of the air is filled with nitrogen. On Venus, the air is thick and unpleasant, with 96.5% carbon dioxide.

Oxygen was first directly detected by a ground-based telescope in Hawaii on the side of Venus facing the Sun, where it forms in the atmosphere. However, a new study has found new evidence of oxygen in the planet's atmosphere, according to the Greek Reporter.

Scientists used a special instrument on board the SOFIA observatory: a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft with an infrared telescope.

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It is noted that oxygen on the daytime side of Venus is formed when the sun's ultraviolet radiation breaks down carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere. Winds carry some of this oxygen to the night side of Venus.

Venus has a layer of clouds containing sulfuric acid that extends about 65 kilometers above its surface. In this layer, there are powerful hurricane-like winds that blow in the direction opposite to the planet's rotation.

There are strong winds that move in the same direction as Venus at about 120 kilometers above the surface. The newly discovered oxygen is concentrated between these two intense layers at an altitude of about 100 kilometers above the planet's surface.

The temperature of this oxygen ranges from about minus 120 degrees Celsius on the sunny side of the planet to minus 160 degrees Celsius on the dark side of Venus.

Earlier, NASA published recordings of how solar system objects "sound".

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