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October 3 2012

Strange layer of Venus surprisingly cold


Venus may be closer to the sun than Earth, but its typically hellish atmosphere has a surprisingly cold layer that's chillier than any part of our own planet's atmosphere, a new study reveals.

This region may be cool enough for carbon dioxide snow or ice to form, according to new observations from Europe's Venus Express satellite. This is surprising for a planet with normally oven-hot temperatures, scientists say.

"The finding is very new and we still need to think about and understand what the implications will be," Hakan Svedhem, Venus Express project scientist at the European Space Agency, said in a statement today (Oct. 1).

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