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The Venusian atmosphere has been found to be sufficiently out of equilibrium as to require further investigation. Analysis of data from the Venera, Pioneer and Magellan missions has found the chemicals hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) together in the upper atmosphere, as well as carbonyl sulfide (OCS). The first two gases react with each other, implying that something must produce them. In addition, carbonyl sulfide is noteworthy for being exceptionally difficult to produce through inorganic means. Were it on Earth, this compound would be considered an "unambiguous indicator of life". Further, it is an often overlooked fact that one of the early Venera probes detected large amounts of chlorine just below the Venusian cloud deck.
It has been proposed that microbes at this level could be soaking up ultraviolet light from the sun as a source of energy, which could be a possible explanation for dark patches seen on UV images of the planet. Large, non-spherical cloud particles have also been detected in the cloud decks. Their composition is still unknown.
in the same way that bacteria have been found living and reproducing in clouds on Earth, it has been proposed that life could exist in the same area on Venus. Microbes in the thick, cloudy atmosphere could be protected from solar radiation by the sulfur compounds in the air.