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Venus: Volcanic activity “similar to that on Earth”?

Venus: Volcanic activity “similar to that on Earth”?

Volcanic activity appears to be hidden beneath Venus' thick atmosphere. Researchers have now provided new evidence from an ancient source.

Sometimes, researchers don't have to look into the vastness of space to make exciting discoveries. Our solar system also contains many mysteries. Astronomers have now discovered something new about our neighboring planet Venus.

Venus' dense, opaque atmosphere makes exploration of the rocky planet difficult. But the Magellan spacecraft mapped the planet's surface using radar technology from 1989 to 1995. Researchers from Italy's University of Chieti-Pescara re-evaluated the data from this NASA mission.

They discovered that Venus may be more active than previously thought. Scientists discovered evidence of volcanic activity in the 1990s, when Magellan was mapping the planet.

To do this, they examined lava flows on our neighboring planet in more detail, and came to the conclusion that “volcanic activity on Venus could be similar to volcanic activity on Earth,” explains study leader David Solkanese. This would fit a 2023 discovery. Astronomers observed changes in a volcanic vent over a period of eight months. Logical conclusion: The volcano is still active.

This is also what the results of the study conducted by Solkanis and his team indicate. They focused on two volcanic regions on Venus and were also able to detect surface changes there that Magellan detected during his mission. Here too, researchers assume that these changes were caused by lava flows that were recent at that time.

This discovery may also be important for future missions to Venus. One such mission is VERITAS, a NASA mission planned to create high-resolution 3D maps of Venus' surface and monitor volcanic activity. The new findings will be useful in choosing appropriate areas of investigation.