Volcanoes on Venus? Radar images from more than 30 years ago show evidence of volcanic activity, scientists say

Scientists say that data from more than 30 years ago shows that the planet Venus is volcanic. NASA’s Magellan spacecraft collected images of the planet’s surface between 1990 and 1992, and researchers recently used this data to study possible volcanic activity in the region.

Researchers from the University of Alaska and the California Institute of Technology found two large volcanoes. Etla Reggio region of Venus – The mountainous regions of the planet. Oza and Mat Mons were previously thought to be volcanoes, but researchers identified their vents, the vents where they would erupt, and confirmed they are the planet’s two largest volcanoes, according to the study. , Published in Science.

“Oza and Mt Mons are comparable in volume to Earth’s largest volcanoes but have lower slopes and are thus more widespread,” said Robert, a research professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute. Herrick said. said in a news release.

This computer-generated 3D model of the surface of Venus shows the summit of Mount Mons, a volcano that is showing signs of activity. A new study has found that over an eight-month period in 1991, a vent on Mount Mons grew larger and changed shape, indicating an explosive event.


The researchers spent about 200 hours comparing the images taken. Throughout the Magellan mission, and found that volcanic vents have changed over time, suggesting volcanic activity. A shift in the vent could mean one of two things: magma filled it and expanded it, or magma escaped from it, causing the vent to partially collapse.

According to the news release, while the path of Maat Mons widened, indicating volcanic activity, the earthquake could have caused the change. However, when Earth’s volcanic vents change drastically, it coincides with a nearby volcanic eruption.

While questions remain about volcanism on Venus, researchers believe they are less active than volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon, Io, which is “so active that we’ve seen it every time we’ve observed it.” Several ongoing eruptions have been photographed,” Herrick said.

Venus has “at least a few eruptions every year,” Herrick said.

“We can expect that future missions to Venus will observe new volcanic flows that have occurred since the Magellan mission ended three decades ago, and we should see some activity now,” he said. while the two incoming orbital missions are collecting images,” he said.

Mars may also have active volcanoes, but “most scientists would say you’d probably need to look at the surface for a few million years to have a reasonable chance of seeing new lava flows”.

CBS News has reached out to Herrick for more information and is awaiting a response.

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