Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Life on the Surface of Venus?


IT is said (for example, refs. 1–3) that our knowledge of the surface of the cloud covered planet Venus is extremely fragmentary and ambiguous; that there are alternative non-thermal explanations of the microwave emission; that, even if the surface is hot, the polar regions may be cold enough to support life, or sufficiently high mountains may exist, and so on. It seems appropriate to relate some of this speculation to continuing work on the physical environment of Venus.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Space Research: Directions for the Future, Part I, 33 (Planetary and Lunar, Exploration, Space Science Board, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, 1965).

  2. Friedman, H., Astronautics and Aeronautics, 3 (11), 40, (1965).

    Google Scholar 

  3. NASA News Conference, Washington (January 13, 1967). Cf. Hines, W., The Evening Star, Washington (January 16, 1967).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Barrett, A. H., and Staelin, D. H., Space Sci. Rev., 3, 109 (1964).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Ho, W., Kaufman, I. A., and Thaddeus, P. J., J. Geophys. Res., 71, 5091 (1966).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Pollack, J. B., and Sagan, C., Astrophys. J., 150, 327 (1967).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Pollack, J. B., and Sagan, C., Icarus, 4, 62 (1965).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Pollack, J. B., and Sagan, C., Astrophys. J., 141, 1161 (1965).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Clark, B. G., and Kuz'min, A. D., Astrophys. J., 142, 23 (1965).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Barath, F. T., Barrett, A. H., Copeland, J., Jones, D. E., and Lilley, A. E., Astron. J., 69, 49 (1964).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Sagan, C., Astrophys. J., 149, 731 (1967).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Walker, R., and Sagan, C., Icarus, 5, 105 (1966).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Sagan, C., Jet Propulsion Laboratory Tech. Memo, 32–34 (1960).

  14. Pollack, J. B., and Sagan, C., Astrophys. J., 150, 699 (1967).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Sagan, C., and Pollack, J. B., J. Geophys. Res., 72, 469 (1967).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Sagan, C., Icarus, 1, 151 (1962).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Morowitz, H., and Sagan, C., Nature, 215, 1259 (1967).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

SAGAN, C. Life on the Surface of Venus?. Nature 216, 1198–1199 (1967).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing