Scientists think they spotted active volcanoes on Venus

Katie Ramirez
January 7, 2020

The researchers measured that this change would be noticeable to the Venus Express within a few years, which determines the lava floods to new periods.

The spacecraft has also snapped images of young-looking lava flows, full of minerals not yet chemically corrupted from exposure to the planet's harsh exterior.

It turned out that olivine, abundant in basalt rock that makes up for 90 per cent of the Venus' surface, reacted very rapidly and got oxidized within weeks.

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At the time, Håkan Svedhem, ESA's Venus Express project scientist, said: "It looks like we can finally include Venus in the small club of volcanically active Solar System bodies".

It's also important to note the fact that the discovery that Venus once had active volcanoes on its surface took place during the '90s, and it was thanks to NASA's Magellan spacecraft. The crystal changes were studied under conditions similar to what they might experience on the Venus surface. Though this idea has been proposed before, new evidence hints that the lava flows that ripple across the planet's scorched surface may be just a few years old, bolstering the case for recent eruptions. "We could explore why Earth and Venus have active volcanoes, and Mars - net", - commented on the opening the study's lead author and researcher of the space research Association universities (USRA) Dr. Justin Filiberto. According to a new study, volcanoes on Venus spews traces of sulfurous gases in its atmosphere.

"If Venus is indeed active today, it would make a great place to visit to better understand the interiors of planets", says Filiberto. However, new research at the USRA's Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) suggests that the second planet from the Sun may still be volcanically active. Mars and Earth's moon once had active volcanoes, but they have always been dormant on both worlds. Future missions should be able to observe these currents and surface changes, and they should be able to provide concrete evidence providing the activity. "For example, we could study how planets cool, and why Earth and Venus have active volcanism, but not Mars". In the 2000s, the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Venus Express orbiter shed new light on volcanism on Venus by measuring the amount of infrared light emitted from part of Venus' surface (during its nighttime).

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