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Discovery of frequent lightning discharges in clouds on Venus

Abstract

The analysis of the composition of the Venus atmosphere made by seven Soviet Venera-type spacecraft between 1967 and 1975 has resulted in speculation about the possible role of lightning in the formation of some minor atmospheric components similar to the Earth's atmosphere. The glowing of the Venus nightside, the ashen light, sometimes observed1 might also be explained by lightning in the Venus atmosphere. Calculations show, however, that there must be many lightning discharges to be visible from the Earth. Nevertheless, although some speculation has arisen about the existence of lightning in the atmospheres of the other planets until recently only lightning discharges in the Earth atmosphere were known.

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