Purported phosphine on Venus more likely to be ordinary sulfur dioxide — ScienceDaily

In September, a team led by astronomers in the United Kingdom announced that they had detected the chemical phosphine in the thick clouds of Venus. The team’s reported detection, based on observations by two Earth-based radio telescopes, surprised many Venus experts. Earth’s atmosphere contains small amounts of phosphine, which may be produced by life. Phosphine […]

A robot arm toting a Venus flytrap can grab delicate objects

Venus flytrap grabbing a weight

A new robotic grabber is ripped straight from the plant world. The device, made with a severed piece of a Venus flytrap, can grasp tiny, delicate objects, researchers report January 25 in Nature Electronics. Normally, the carnivorous Dionaea muscipula scores a meal when unsuspecting prey touches delicate hairs on one of the plant’s jawlike leaves, […]

Six-wavelength spectroscopy can offer new details of surface of Venus

This image of Venus is a composite of data from NASA’s Magellan spacecraft and Pioneer Venus Orbiter. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech A trio of papers provide new insight into the composition and evolution of the surface of Venus, hidden beneath its caustic, high temperature atmosphere. Utilizing imaging from orbit using multiple wavelengths—six-band spectroscopy proposed as part of […]

What Happened When the Lithosphere of Venus Broke?

The internal structure of Venus is probably quite similar to that of the Earth, but the surface is fairly young. It does not feature the global network of tectonic plates that mark our planet and, except for a few places called tesserae, has been essentially reset at some point within the last billion […]

How future spacecraft might handle tricky landings on Venus or Europa

The best way to know a world is to touch it. Scientists have observed the planets and moons in our solar system for centuries, and have flown spacecraft past the orbs for decades. But to really understand these worlds, researchers need to get their hands dirty — or at least a spacecraft’s landing pads. Since […]

The pressure sensor of the Venus flytrap

Open trap of Dionaea muscipula with potential prey. Middle: basal part of a trigger hair, where action potentials are elicited in the sensory cells upon touch stimulation. During the late phase of the action potential, potassium ions need to be reimported into the sensory cells via KDM1 to enable the generation of consecutive action potentials. […]

The pressure sensor of the venus flytrap — ScienceDaily

All plant cells can be made to react by touch or injury. The carnivorous Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) has highly sensitive organs for this purpose: sensory hairs that register even the weakest mechanical stimuli, amplify them and convert them into electrical signals that then spread quickly through the plant tissue. Researchers from Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg […]

Readers ask about life on Venus and high-energy cosmic rays

October 10, 2020 cover

Venusian recollection Phosphine gas detected in the clouds of Venus could be a sign of life or some strange unknown chemistry, Lisa Grossman reported in “Possible sign of life is found on Venus” (SN: 10/10/20 & 10/24/20, p. 6). The story brought back memories for reader Bruce Hapke, a professor of planetary science at the […]

Is there life on Venus?

Scientists who study the possibility of life beyond Earth look for chemical compounds that might have a biological origin. Space agencies have done this by sending rovers, by listening to radio transmissions with radio telescopes, or by spectroscopes that detect light. Telescopes can be used to track the biosignatures in the atmospheres of planets. In […]

CU Anschutz researcher offers new theory on `Venus’ figurines

AURORA, Colo. (Dec. 1, 2020) – One of world’s earliest examples of art, the enigmatic `Venus’ figurines carved some 30,000 years ago, have intrigued and puzzled scientists for nearly two centuries. Now a researcher from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus believes he’s gathered enough evidence to solve the mystery behind these curious totems. […]