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April 12 2013

Soviet Balloon Probes May Have Seen Rain on Venus

A pair of balloon probes that floated in the atmosphere of Venus nearly 30 years ago may have run into a drizzle.

This being Earth’s hellish sister planet – where surface pressure is akin to being 900 m underwater and average temperatures are hot enough to melt lead – the shower wasn’t made of friendly water but rather corrosive sulfuric acid. The finding comes from a re-analysis of data taken by the Vega 1 and 2 missions and may represent the first onsite detection of rain ever made outside of Earth.

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