Regardless of the similarities, our world has with Venus; there may be nonetheless a lot don’t find out about Earth’s “Sister planet” and the way it got here to be. Because of its tremendous-dense and hazy ambiance, there are nonetheless unresolved questions concerning the planet’s geological, historical past. For instance, even though Venus’ surface is dominated by volcanic options, scientists have remained unsure whether or not or not, the planet continues to be volcanically energetic right now.
Whereas the planet is thought to have been volcanically lively as current as 2.5 million years in the past, no concrete proof has been discovered that there are nonetheless volcanic eruptions on Venus’ surface. Nevertheless, new research led by the USRA’s Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) has proven that Venus should have energetic volcanoes, making it the one different planet within the Solar System (aside from Earth) that’s nonetheless volcanically lively right this moment.
The invention that Venus as soon as skilled a substantial amount of volcanic exercise was made through the 1990s due to NASA’s Magellan spacecraft. The radar imaging it offered of Venus’ floor revealed a world dominated by volcanoes and lava flows. In the course of the 2000s, the ESA adopted up on this with their Venus Express orbiter, which shed new mild on the volcanic exercise by measuring infrared mild coming from the planet’s floor at night time.
This information allowed scientists to look at the lava flows on Venus’ surface more intently and differentiate between those that have been recent, and people who had been altered. Sadly, the ages of lava eruptions and volcanoes on Venus weren’t recognized till not too long ago for the reason that the alteration charge of recent lava was not properly constrained.
For the sake of their examine, Dr. Filiberto and his colleagues simulated Venus’ ambiance of their laboratory to be able to examine how Venus’ lava flows would change over time. These simulations confirmed that olivine (which is ample in basalt rock) reacts quickly with an environment like Venus’ and would develop into coated with magnetite and hematite (two iron oxide minerals) inside days.
Additionally, they discovered that the close to-infrared signature emitted by these minerals (that are in keeping with the information obtained by the Venus Specific mission) would disappear inside days. From this, the group concluded that the lava flows noticed on Venus had been very younger, which in turn would point out that Venus nonetheless has energetic volcanoes on its surface.