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'Alien' Life Could Exist High in Earth's Atmosphere

If high altitude balloons find basic microorganisms in the stratosphere and mesosphere, it could have serious implications for the hunt for extraterrestrial life in the atmospheres of other worlds.

January 27, 2017
7:00 AM EST
Researchers commonly search for microbes using high-altitude balloons, but airplanes are also a possibility (NASA)
In ultraviolet light (as seen here by the Venus Express mission), Venus has mysterious dark streaks that absorb UV radiation. Some researchers have suggested this could be life in the upper atmosphere, but more research is needed (ESA/MPS/DLR/IDA)