In terms of size, mass and density, both Earth and Venus have many similarities. Therefore, both should produce heat in their core, which in the case of the Earth is released during volcanic eruptions – an average of 50 volcanoes erupt each year.
In decades of research and observation, Clear signs of volcanic activity have never been detected on Venus, but a new US study has now found that there are active volcanoes. in Planet. The discovery process was complex, as the atmosphere of Venus is very dense, with a continuous layer of clouds at an altitude between 45 and 65 km, opaque to most wavelengths, including visible light.
New research will focus on the frequency and spatial distribution of volcanism on Venus (…).
In the early 1990s, more specifically between August 1990 and October 1994, NASA’s Magellan probe used an innovative technique at the time that allowed it to obtain very sharp images of the surface of the planet Venus. Through a technique called “opening synthesis” it was possible to observe that 80% of the surface is covered by lava flows.
For the last 30 years, it has been completely impossible to clarify how old these lava flows are, when the last eruption occurred, or even if any eruptions were taking place at all. Some data was collectedThrough thick clouds which suggested that some of the lava that covered the surface of the planet was quite recent and that there would even be active lava flows, due to the registration of some thermal anomalies. Although, None of this information has been fully corroborated… until now.
A gigantic volcano has grown in size!
The recent study, published earlier this month, can attest that changes to the surface of Venus are the result of volcanic activity. Through a careful comparison of the images obtained by the Magalhães spacecraft between February and October 1991, changes can be confirmed or new resources on the surface of the planet.
Some of the images, taken from Ma’at Monsone of the largest known volcanoes on Venus with an altitude of about 5 km above the surrounding plains, show orn circular volcanic crater about 1.5 km in diameter, which in the indicated period almost doubled in size and also the crater became shallower. This could only have been due to active volcanism.
New research will focus on the frequency and spatial distribution of volcanism on Venus, as well as many space scientists already believed that the planet was volcanically active. Two missions, NASA’s Veritas and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) EnVision, equipped with more modern equipment than the Magellan, have been approved and are in progress. They will reach the orbit of Venus in 2034 and will be able to provide valuable data.
Could the planet Venus be a viable alternative in the future if humanity is forced to leave Earth? It’s something we’ll know as we find out more about our neighbor.