BBC News

Could life on Venus cope with sulphuric acid?

If microbes really do live in the Venusian atmosphere, how do they survive? Scientists have intriguing hints they may be there from the detection of the gas phosphine, which on Earth is produced by living organisms. But anything on Venus would have to cope with the sulphuric acid in the planet's clouds. Dr William Bains, who is affiliated to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, demonstrates on the BBC's Sky At Night programme just how corrosive the acid is.

The Sky At Night special on this story can be seen at 22:30 on BBC Four, and afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.