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Scientists have found new proof of the similarity of the atmospheres of Venus and Earth

May 15 2008

The European spacecraft Venus Express detected in the Venusian atmosphere hydroxyl groups, diatomic molecules of hydrogen and oxygen (OH). According to scientists, the discovery is yet another argument in favor of the fact that the atmosphere of Venus is like Earth's.

Venus Express has already shown that this planet more like Earth than many imagined before. "Detection of the hydroxyl groups - one more step in that direction," - said one of the participants, Giuseppe Piccioni of the Roman Institute of Astrophysics and Cosmic Physics. Radical OH - is very difficult to detect and unstable chemical compound that readily react with other substances. It was found in the upper atmosphere at an altitude of about 100 kilometers

Layer of the atmosphere, which were discovered hydroxyl ions, is very thin - about 10 miles. It is believed that hydroxyl groups play an important role in the atmosphere - on Earth they facilitate the conclusion of air pollutants on Mars - stabilize carbon dioxide, preventing its conversion into carbon monoxide, as well as play a role Sterilize, creating the planet's surface conditions are not suitable for micro-organisms . Previously, the hydroxyl ions are detected around comets, but scientists believe the way of their education there are fundamentally different from the ways of formation of these radicals in the atmosphere of planets.

On Earth, the presence of hydroxyl groups is closely related to ozone production. Scientists believe that in the atmosphere of Venus is the same. On Earth, the ozone layer in the stratosphere also protects all life from ultraviolet radiation, RIA-Novosti.

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