The solar system still hides many secrets. Venus is one of the planets with a lot of them. Scientists are fascinated by the signals coming from the planet. Will the mystery of Venus be revealed?
The volcanic mystery of Venus
It has long been known that Venus is covered with several strange volcanoes. However, it is not entirely clear whether lava is falling from it. Venus’s dense and foggy atmosphere obscures everything that might happen on its surface.
However, new research confirms that Venus may be volcanically active. A discovery like this would help explain how volcanoes affect the evolution of planets and the ability to live in space. Research focused on strange signals coming from the pink volcano called Idunn Mons is fueling the excitement of future missions to this planet as well as to Mars.
A team of researchers used ancient data and say Idunn Mons, which is 2.7 kilometers high and 201 kilometers wide, has been active over the past millennia. It is also possible that it is still active today. We will see if the scientists are right, because in this decade several missions will reach the surface of the planet.
Justin Filiberto, chief of the Office of Astronomical Materials and Exploration Science (ARES) at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and co-author of a study published last month in The Planetary Science Journal, says that at this point he thinks “no one would be surprised when we got to Venus.” We found traces of volcanic activity.”
Volcanoes and oceans
However, confirming this suspicion would have serious repercussions. Venus was once water and oceansToday it is a hot dry land. Everything is shrouded in a dense acidic atmosphere. Scientists call Venus the infernal planet for a reason. Atmosphere, surface and volcanic eruptions create a specific climate there.
Researchers ask Why did the Earth not undergo a similar volcanic apocalypse. Volcanoes can answer that question, and they are easy to understand if you can monitor them in action.
Scientists discuss seismic activity on the planet. The higher concentration of sulfur dioxide, a common volcanic gas, in Venus’s atmosphere makes more sense if volcanoes are still spewing it out. There are tectonic fractures on the planet’s surface as well as volcanic cauldron-like elements that sometimes form in a way that suggests they are shifted by heat. So it would be strange if Venus does not have volcanic activity.
“Venus is basically the same size as Earth. Earth is not volcanically dead, so why would we expect Venus to be?”
— says Lauren Josuyak, a volcanic planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University of Applied Physics.
Future space missions to Venus, including NASA’s VERITAS and DAVINCI+ and the European probe EnVision, scheduled to launch at the end of this decade, will prove his doubts. This first task in particular can give you a lot of information on the subject. VERITAS will be equipped with the latest radar systems that will be able to clearly identify new lava.
“I think we will be writing completely new textbooks on Venus when all these missions arrive. It will change the way we think about planetary evolution.”
— says Justin Filiberto, branch chief in NASA’s Office of Astronomical Materials Research and Exploration of Science (ARES).
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