Researchers have detected an earthquake using instruments flying in a balloon above California, and the technology could one day detect quakes on Venus.

Temblors on Earth and beyond are a valuable tool for understanding how planets are built and what their interiors are doing, and scientists have measured both moonquakes and marsquakes. But venusquakes are going to be more difficult to detect than either moonquakes or marsquakes, simply because of how hostile the planet’s surface is. No lander has operated on the Venusian surface for much more than two hours, so scientists are evaluating instruments that might detect venusquakes from the less hazardous environment of the planet’s thick cloud deck.

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